Resolution on High Capacity Ammunition Magazines

The “Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act” was introduced in both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate in January, 2011, seeking to limit high capacity firearm magazines, with the following provisions:

  1. Amends the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act to prohibit: (1) the transfer or possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device, except for its lawful possession within the United States on or before the date of this Act's enactment; and (2) the importation or bringing into the United States of such a device.
  2. Sets forth exceptions to such ban.
  3. Sets penalties for violations.
  4. Requires a large capacity ammunition feeding device manufactured after this Act's enactment to be identified by a serial number that clearly shows that the device was manufactured after enactment and such other identification as the Attorney General may prescribe.

Whereas in light of the tragic murders of nine innocents and the attempted assassination of United States Representative Gabrielle Giffords, and the wounding of others, attention is once again focused on weapons that have the potential to do great harm in just seconds;

Whereas recent history from Columbine High School to Virginia Tech and now to Tucson has shown the devastating effect of accessibility to high capacity ammunition magazines that can discharge as many as thirty rounds of ammunition; 

Whereas recently even gun rights advocates have suggested that it might be time to reinstate the magazine-size rule which the United States Congress allowed to lapse with the ban on assault weapons in 2004; 

Whereas the Torah teaches us “choose life” (Deuteronomy 30:19);

Whereas the Rabbinic tradition (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:5) teaches that every human life is unique and precious, created in the divine image; 

Whereas the Rabbinical Assembly has consistently (resolutions in 1990, 1995) called for the limitation of easy access to handguns and semi-automatic weapons; and

Whereas the Rabbinical Assembly, has signed on as a supporter of Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence which is advocating for passage of this bill.

Therefore be it resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly support legislation to limit the accessibility to “high capacity ammunition feeding devices” such as HB 308 introduced by United States Representative Carolyn McCarthy and SB 32 introduced by United States Senator Frank Lautenberg; and 

Be it further resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly commend our colleague Rabbi David Lerner for creating the interfaith effort and encourage our members to support this effort.

Passed by the Rabbinical Assembly Plenum, March, 2011