Title of Proposal:

Limit Sales of Assault Weapons

On behalf of:

The Richmond Academy of Medicine

Describe the Idea or Issue:

On February 16, 2018 the American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Psychiatric Association all renewed their call on government to act on the public health epidemic of gun violence including placing constitutionally appropriate restrictions on the manufacture and sale of assault weapons and large capacity magazines. On February 28, 2018 the American College of Surgeons reiterated their continued support of restrictions on assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition clips. Multiple studies have demonstrated an inverse relationship between limits on firearm ownership and gun-related death rates. Current MSV policy expresses support for future laws and regulations relating to firearms which would promote trauma control and increased public safety (Policy 145.003) and current MSV Policy also opposes any type of Domestic violence and supports the inclusion of educational material regarding resources, criminal laws, and prevention in government publications related to marriage and families (Policy 515.001). District of Columbia vs. Heller upholds the right of individual states to impose restrictions on gun ownership.

Desired Outcome:

The Richmond Academy of Medicine asks that the Medical Society of Virginia to actively pursue and endorse any legislation that limits sale and ownership of large capacity magazines, bump stocks, and firearms with features designed to increase their rapid firing ability as defined in H.R. 3355 of the 103rd Congress. Additionally, we ask that the Medical Society of Virginia actively pursue and endorse any legislation which promotes uniform/universal background checks for gun sales.

Background/Supporting Information:

District of Columbia vs. Heller Background information can be found on pages 9-11 of appendix


See the "definition" below.  Only one problem.  There is no such thing as a semiautomatic assault weapon.  An assault weapon is capable of fully automatic fire (i.e., a machine gun).  These have been outlawed for sale (except by a special ATF permit) sine the Federal Firearms Act of 1934.

Also, firearms do not have any "rapid firing ability", only shooters do.  As written, the request shows a complete lack of understanding of firearms.  We cannot afford to lose credibility on this issue by appearing ignorant.

And again, the author has muddied the issue by requesting a secondary goal with background checks.  Poor form.


SEC. 110-102.



.—Section  922  of  title  18,  United  States  Code, is  amended  by  adding  at  the  end  the  following  new  subsection: 

‘‘(v)(1)  It  shall  be  unlawful  for  a  person  to  manufacture,  transfer, or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon.

‘‘(2)  Paragraph  (1)  shall  not  apply  to  the  possession  or  transfer of  any  semiautomatic  assault  weapon  otherwise  lawfully  possessed under  Federal  law  on  the  date  of  the  enactment  of  this  subsection.

‘‘(3) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to—

‘‘(A)  any  of  the  firearms,  or  replicas  or  duplicates  of  the

firearms,  specified  in  Appendix  A  to  this  section,  as  such  fire-

arms were manufactured on October 1, 1993;

‘‘(B) any firearm that—

‘‘(i)  is  manually  operated  by  bolt,  pump,  lever,  or  slide


‘‘(ii) has been rendered permanently inoperable; or

‘‘(iii) is an antique firearm;

‘‘(C)  any  semiautomatic  rifle  that  cannot  accept  a  detach-

able  magazine  that  holds  more  than  5  rounds  of  ammunition;


‘‘(D)  any  semiautomatic  shotgun  that  cannot  hold  more

than 5 rounds of ammunition in a fixed or detachable magazine.

The  fact  that  a  firearm  is  not  listed  in  Appendix  A  shall  not

be  construed  to  mean  that  paragraph  (1)  applies  to  such  firearm.

No firearm exempted by this subsection may be deleted from Appen-

dix A so long as this subsection is in effect.

As one of the co-authors of the original resolution, I would clarify that the definition referred to (as per HR 3355 from the 103rd Congress) includes the following definition of a semi-automatic assault weapon. Whether those who own such weapons agree with the definition is unimportant, given that the term itself is already in place as part of prior Federal law (passed in 1994 as part of the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Act) which aas not overturned in the court system.

‘‘(30) The term ‘semiautomatic assault weapon’ means— ‘‘(A) any of the firearms, or copies or duplicates of the firearms in any caliber, known as— ‘‘(i) Norinco, Mitchell, and Poly Technologies Avtomat Kalashnikovs (all models); ‘‘(ii) Action Arms Israeli Military Industries UZI and Galil; ‘‘(iii) Beretta Ar70 (SC–70); ‘‘(iv) Colt AR–15; ‘‘(v) Fabrique National FN/FAL, FN/LAR, and FNC; ‘‘(vi) SWD M–10, M–11, M–11/9, and M–12; ‘‘(vii) Steyr AUG; ‘‘(viii) INTRATEC TEC–9, TEC–DC9 and TEC–22; and ‘‘(ix) revolving cylinder shotguns, such as (or similar to) the Street Sweeper and Striker 12; ‘‘(B) a semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of— ‘‘(i) a folding or telescoping stock; ‘‘(ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon; ‘‘(iii) a bayonet mount; ‘‘(iv) a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor; and ‘‘(v) a grenade launcher; ‘‘(C) a semiautomatic pistol that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of— ‘‘(i) an ammunition magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip; ‘‘(ii) a threaded barrel capable of accepting a barrel extender, flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer; ‘‘(iii) a shroud that is attached to, or partially or com- pletely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the nontrigger hand without being burned; ‘‘(iv) a manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded; and ‘‘(v) a semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm; and ‘‘(D) a semiautomatic shotgun that has at least 2 of— ‘‘(i) a folding or telescoping stock; ‘‘(ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon; ‘‘(iii) a fixed magazine capacity in excess of 5 rounds; and ‘‘(iv) an ability to accept a detachable magazine.’’.



The parents of the dead all know what kinds of guns we are talking about.  If the MSV needs some technical help from gun owners to clarify this and eliminate any loopholes, then please step forward.  Let us not let "perfect" be the enemy of the good.  Agree that it may be better to separate each issue we want to work on since background checks are supported by over 90% of Americans.  We cannot afford to keep loosing these battles.

As one of the co-authors of the original resolution, I would like to note that the two "Resolved" clauses were included both in order to avoid cluttering up the process with separate resolutions, but more importantly because we believe the "Resolved" clauses support each other in helping ensure that legal weapons are only available for legal purchase by individuals who have legal standing to do so.

We would support separating these "Resolved" clauses into separate resolutions, if this was preferred, or would support including the "Resolved" clause re: background checks and the "Resolved" clause from Proposal 2 re: reciprocal concealed carry permits into a third proposal which more specifically targets how individuals have access to legally purchase/carry firearms under Virginia law.

I'd not spend a lot of time/money on this as being a lost cause. The US constitution has historically been explaiined as viewing the right to bear arms as pertaining not only to defense OF the state but also to defense FROM the state. The state has military style (by definition!) weapons, so folks believe themselves entitled to the same. Education of "the masses" (assuming they desire it) that the intent was "a well-regulated militia," not neighborhood-watch Rambo types, will require an effort beyond us.Lip service, however is cheap - write your congressman.

I am one of the coauthors of this proposal and I agree that it is true that many of the weapons often debated as being the most dangerous or the most commonly used in mass shooting situations are not legally classified as assault rifles. Such guns, such as the AR-15 rifle used in the Parkland, Florida shooting and the Las Vegas shooting, can only be fired as fast as a person can pull the trigger. The aim of our proposal is not to limit access to these weapons, but rather access to the items that alter the firing ability of these guns. For instance, while a bump stock does not alter the inner machinery of a gun, it replaces the stock allowing the recoil of the weapon to 'bump' against the shooter's finger and simulate the firing rate of a fully automatic weapon.

It is our belief that the legality of weapons with such a high firing capacity pose a large public health crisis that needs to be addressed. We urge the MSV to adopt the language of American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American College of Surgeons and advocate for legislation that will increase public safety. 

I am in agreement with Dr. Ryan and would support the separation of the second resolved clause to clarify the message of the first resolved.

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