Mass Response to the Assault Weapons Ban of 2019

Resources For Contacting Your Legislators

Central Committee | January 13, 2019 at 1:44 PM




Bill Information

Besides outlawing 205 gun models by name, the proposal would also define an “assault weapon” as a semi-automatic with a detachable magazine that includes one of a list of cosmetic features that are deemed “military characteristics” such as a threaded barrel, pistol grip or folding stock. This is less lenient than the previous ban which allowed a “features test” that included two such characteristics. In addition, the measure would expand federal law to ban adjustable stocks, Thordsen-style stocks such as used in “featureless rifles” marketed in states like California, “assault pistols” that weight more than 50-ounces when unloaded, and popular pistol stabilizing braces that have become widespread in recent years. Detachable magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds would be prohibited from transfer and guns grandfathered when the ban takes effect would be required to be locked up when not in use. A background check would be mandatory for future sale or gifting of grandfathered guns, even between two private parties.


Why We Oppose The Legislation

More people are shot and killed each year by Law Enforcement Officers than are killed in mass shootings. More Americans were shot and killed by police in 2018 alone than were killed in all school shootings combined since 1970. American police are becoming increasingly militarized with the expansion of Special Tactics and SWAT units, and the proliferation of surplused military vehicles, armor, tactical gear, and automatic weapons. At the same time, courts and juries continue to make questionable rulings finding police officers not guilty of murdering unarmed people – especially black men.

Our police-prison-industrial complex gives "assault weapons" and "weapons of war" to often poorly-trained agents of the state. These weapons are then used to carry out No-Knock Raids, Riot Control, and the intimidation of peaceful protesters. Police patrol poor, minority, and immigrant communities with these weapons and use lethal force on any black or brown person who does not "comply" fast enough. Our legal system then shields the police from almost all accountability and liability for their actions.

Why do we focus on the relatively small number of deaths caused by mass shootings while ignoring the shootings and mass systemic violence perpetrated by our so-called Justice System? Why do Democrats seek to burn precious political capital on an assault weapon ban that will have a minimal impact on saving human lives? We should be pursuing policies like Criminal Justice Reform, Prison Reform, Legalizing Marijuana, Expanding Mental Healthcare, and implementing Single Payer Healthcare – which would have much more significant effects on reducing violent and non-violent deaths alike without infringing on Constitutional Rights.

If the Democratic Party was concerned about the health and well-being of its constituents, it would be focusing on the roots of violence rather than attempting to apply a mere patch on a very broken system. This suggests the real reason for an assault weapons ban is to disarm the working class. By opposing this legislation, we hope to prevent further erosion of working-class power while simultaneously building the base on the left to bring real change to America.


How To Help

1. Find Your Representative

The following Senators are sponsors and co-sponsors of the newly proposed Assault Weapons Ban of 2019. Many of these Senators have multiple offices nationwide. Be sure to send a message to all offices if possible. Also consider messaging them on Twitter and other social media.
  • Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
  • Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)
  • Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)
  • Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)
  • Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)
  • Patty Murray (D-Wash.)
  • Jack Reed (D-R.I.)
  • Tom Carper (D-Del.)
  • Bob Menendez (D-N.J.)
  • Ben Cardin (D-Md.)
  • Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
  • Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)
  • Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)
  • Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)
  • Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii)
  • Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
  • Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
  • Cory Booker (D-N.J.)
  • Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)
  • Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.)
  • Kamala Harris (D-Calif.)
  • Bob Casey (D-Pa.)
  • Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
  • Tina Smith (D-Minn.)
  • Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)
  • Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.)
  • Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.)
  • Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)
  • Mark Warner (D-Va.)


  • 2. Let Them Know You Do Not Support The Bill

    Give them a phone call, send them an email, and send them a  FAX . We have prepared the following statement for you:
    Dear _________________,

    I am writing to you concerning the proposed "Assault Weapons Ban of 2019" introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein. I am a concerned American and a member of the Socialist Rifle Association, a working-class gun rights education and advocacy organization with an online presence of roughly 40,000 people. At time of writing the SRA has nearly 1,500 dues-paying members and chapters operating in all 50 States and the District of Columbia.

    As a member of the SRA I uphold the right of poor and working class Americans to bear arms, but I also recognize the need to address some of the societal harms caused by guns and gun culture. The SRA supports reasonable background checks, barring domestic violence suspects from gun ownership, subsidizing safe firearm storage, and improving access to mental healthcare. The SRA also supports polices that reduce economic hardship and precarity, because poverty is correlated with increased crime and violence, as well as increased rates of depression and anxiety which can contribute to rates of suicide.

    As a working class, gun-owning Socialist I oppose legislation which imposes unreasonable taxes or costs on gun ownership. These policies create a society where the right of self defense is available only to the wealthy and privileged. I also oppose legislation which seeks to ban individuals from owning modern firearms under the guise of "Assault Weapon Bans." These laws are often presented as being about "removing weapons of war from our streets" — but this is clearly false.

    More people are shot and killed each year by Law Enforcement Officers than are killed in mass shootings. More Americans were shot and killed by police in 2018 alone than were killed in all school shootings combined since 1970. American police are becoming increasingly militarized with the expansion of Special Tactics and SWAT units, and the proliferation of surplused military vehicles, armor, tactical gear, and automatic weapons. At the same time, courts and juries continue to make questionable rulings finding police officers not guilty of murdering unarmed people – especially black men.

    Our police-prison-industrial complex gives "assault weapons" and "weapons of war" to often poorly-trained agents of the state. These weapons are then used to carry out No-Knock Raids, Riot Control, and the intimidation of peaceful protesters. Police patrol poor, minority, and immigrant communities with these weapons and use lethal force on any black or brown person who does not "comply" fast enough. Our legal system then shields the police from almost all accountability and liability for their actions.

    Why do we focus on the relatively small number of deaths caused by mass shootings while ignoring the shootings and mass systemic violence perpetrated by our so-called Justice System? Why do Democrats seek to burn precious political capital on an assault weapon ban that will have a minimal impact on saving human lives? We should be pursuing policies like Criminal Justice Reform, Prison Reform, Legalizing Marijuana, Expanding Mental Healthcare, and implementing Single Payer Healthcare – which would have much more significant effects on reducing violent and non-violent deaths alike without infringing on Constitutional Rights.

    I urge you to oppose the "Assault Weapons Ban of 2019" and all other restrictive gun legislation that creates the appearance of tackling the issue of violence in our society, while leaving the root of the problem untouched.

    I also urge you to support the reintroduction of H.R.1556 "Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act" or an equivalent Senate bill, and to pursue further legislation tackling the misuse of SWAT teams for No-Knock Raids and Riot Control. I also urge you to pursue legislation which increases the liability and accountability of police forces across the country.


    Sincerely,

    _________________

    and the Socialist Rifle Association

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