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Reinstate the Assault Weapons Ban


On June 12, the largest and deadliest mass shooting in American history occurred at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, with 50 lives tragically lost and 53 injured. As we continue to mourn the lives of those murdered, it is our collective responsibility to advance sensible gun-laws aimed at curbing future violence.

Many guns that have been used in recent mass shootings, including one of the guns used in the Orlando attack, are military-style assault weapons that are designed to enable the shooting of mass numbers of bullets quickly and efficiently without reloading. When an assault weapon or a high-capacity magazine is used in a shooting, the number of victims who are killed, increases by 63%. Sadly, this is demonstrated by not only the most recent attack in Orlando, but by the violence in San Bernardino, Sandy Hook, Aurora and too many more places. It is time to make sure that these weapons are taken off our streets.

The Assault Weapons Ban of 2015 (H.R. 4269), introduced by Representative David Cicilline (D-RI-1) would prohibit the sale, transfer, production and importation of 157 of the most commonly-owned military-style assault weapons. The ban extends to weapons that accept a detachable ammunition magazine, and that have one or more military characteristics. The ban would also prohibit large-capacity magazines and other ammunition feeding devices that are capable of holding more than 10 rounds. New magazines containing more than 10 rounds were banned under the Federal Assault Weapons Act of 1994, but became available again when Congress failed to renew the law in 2004. 

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  • Jewish Values:

    Jewish tradition emphasizes the sanctity and primary value of human life. The Bible commands us, “Thou shalt not murder” (Exodus 20:13). The Talmud teaches us that “he who takes one life it is as though he has destroyed the universe and he who saves one life it is as though he has saved the universe” (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5).

    Scripture encourages peaceful pursuit of our mutual welfare. Isaiah exhorts the people of the earth to “beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.” (Isaiah 2:4). We also are commanded to turn weapons of destruction into tools for the greater good of society.

    Take Action:

    Urge your Members of Congress to support the Assault Weapons Ban of 2015 (H.R. 4269). This bill would take military-style weapons, which are capable of taking the lives of so many so quickly, off our streets. To reach your Member of Congress, call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Eisendrath Legislative Assistant Tracy Wolf at 202-387-2800.