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Res. No. 76

 

Resolution calling on Congress to pass, and the President to sign, S.2095, also known as the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017.

 

By Council Members Levin, Brannan and Salamanca

                     Whereas, According to Mother Jones’ A Guide to Mass Shootings in America, there have been at least 95 mass shootings in this country since 1982, defined as an indiscriminate attack in a public place in which four or more victims were killed; and

                     Whereas, Mother Jones’ database shows that mass shootings have been on the rise in recent years, with 60 of the 95 incidents taking place since 2005, eleven of which occurred in 2017 alone; and

                     Whereas, The same database reveals that more than two thirds of the guns used in mass shootings between 1982 and 2017 were obtained legally, and more than half of all the shooters possessed assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, or both; and

                     Whereas, In 1994, Congress passed the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which prohibited the manufacturing of certain semiautomatic firearms defined as assault weapons, as well as large-capacity magazines; and

                     Whereas, The ban was in effect from 1994 to 2004, due to its 10-year sunset provision; and

                     Whereas, The law was criticized by some as having significant loopholes, including a “grandfather clause” allowing the possession or transfer of existing semiautomatic assault weapons, as well as the ease with which manufacturers could slightly modify banned models and still legally sell the new models; and

                     Whereas, Nevertheless, analysis from Professor Sam Wang of Princeton University reveals that there were 1.6 mass shootings per year during the time the ban was in effect, compared to 3.4 per year between 2005 and 2012, after the ban expired; and

                     Whereas, Moreover, Professor Wang’s analysis shows that 20.9 people were shot per year by mass shooters during the 10-year ban, while the number of victims increased to 54.8 people per year after the ban expired; and

                     Whereas, Since 2003, there have been numerous attempts to reauthorize the ban or to pass bills to create a similar ban, but all efforts have failed; and

                     Whereas, 2017 saw a number of high-profile mass shootings, including the Las Vegas Strip massacre which resulted in a total of 58 deaths; and

                     Whereas, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California introduced S.2095, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017; and

                     Whereas, Similar to the original 1994 ban, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017 would prohibit the manufacturing of specified semiautomatic assault weapons and large-capacity magazines, while exempting the possession, sale, or transfer of grandfathered firearms; and

                     Whereas, Reinstating a federal ban on assault weapons would be an important step toward reducing mass shootings and saving lives; now, therefore, be it

                     Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon Congress to pass, and the President to sign, S.2095, also known as the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017.

LW/BG

LS 3541

1/16/18