U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) said American’s should not own automatic weapons.
Lee said, during a speech Wednesday on the floor of the U.S. House, that we must also close gun loopholes and expand background checks and then tried to link automatic weapons to gun related crimes.
Jackson Lee attempted to use the fear-based “automatic weapons” phrase to make her point about reducing the 2nd Amendment rights of law abiding Americans, the Free Beacon reported.
“Simple legislation that could be passed. I think it is crucial in America that we do so, because the violence has many roots–housing, health care, poverty, but certainly it has the tool, and that is guns,” Jackson Lee began in her 5-minute floor speech. “That is automatic weapons like AK-47s and others more sophisticated. America has a right to the Second Amendment, but the people of America have a right to safety and the prevention of gun violence in their community.”
People frequently misuse the phrase “automatic weapons” when they are actually referring to “semi-automatic weapons.” Many handguns and sporting rifles are semi-automatic. The AK-47 is manufactured in both automatic and semi-automatic models. In a semi-automatic weapon you must pull the trigger each time you want to fire. An automatic weapon will fire as long as you hold the trigger, until you run out of ammunition. Rarely are fully automatic weapons used in crimes. In fact, their ownership is already highly restricted and registered nationally, the Free Beacon article states.
Automatic weapons are not commonly used in gun crimes in America, however. Since 1986, the sale of newly manufactured automatic weapons to civilians have been banned. If an individual wants to purchase an automatic weapon, they have to go through a strict vetting process while also registering that weapon with the federal government. As a result, automatic weapons are also very expensive to personally own.
Jackson Lee’s attempt to associate automatic with gun violence across the nation would not likely pass an unbiased fact-check.