McBath Introduces Legislation to Reduce Gun Violence in America, Kicks Off Month of Action

The Gas-Operated Semi-Automatic Firearms Exclusion (GOSAFE) Act would amend current law to increase federal regulation over certain gas-operated semi-automatic firearms, large capacity magazines, and related modifications.

June 3, 2024

Washington, D.C. — As part of Gun Violence Awareness Month, Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA-07) today introduced H.R.8600, the Gas-Operated Semi-Automatic Firearms Exclusion (GOSAFE) Act, a common-sense proposal designed to protect communities from gun violence while safeguarding Americans’ constitutional right to own a firearm for legitimate self-defense, hunting, and sporting purposes. A companion bill is led in the U.S. Senate by Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Angus King (I-ME), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), and Michael Bennet (D-CO).

“Since the death of my son, Jordan, almost twelve years ago, I have dedicated my life to preventing more families from feeling the pain of losing a loved one to gun violence,” said Rep. McBath. “The GOSAFE Act honors our constitutional rights while keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of those who should not have them. I thank Senator Heinrich and our partners for their support in bringing about this common-sense piece of legislation. The American people deserve to live free, healthy lives safe from the horror of gun violence—this is an important step in making that a reality.”

“I’m thrilled that my GOSAFE Act has been introduced in the House by Congresswoman Lucy McBath— a fierce advocate and leader in the fight to tackle gun violence,” said Senator Heinrich. “I firmly believe we must uphold the laws that protect safe and responsible gun ownership. This legislation accomplishes that, while preventing firearms that are inherently dangerous and unusually lethal, designed for maximum harm, from falling into the hands of individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others. By equipping law enforcement with the necessary tools and time needed to keep our communities safe, GOSAFE will save lives.”

“As weapons of war have become commonplace in America, so has the unfathomable carnage they wreak on our communities,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “We applaud Representative McBath for introducing innovative legislation that would regulate assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, which are capable of creating devastating destruction in an instant. We urge Representative McBath’s colleagues to pass this bill before yet another community is forever scarred by someone filled with hate and armed with an AR-15.”

Bill Background

Regulates Sale, Transfer, & Manufacture of Semi-Automatic Firearms

  • The GOSAFE Act regulates firearms based on the inherently dangerous and unusual lethality of their internal mechanisms, as opposed to focusing on cosmetic features that manufacturers can easily modify.
  • If enacted, the bill would regulate the sale, transfer, and manufacture of gas-operated semi-automatic weapons by:
      • Establishing a list of prohibited firearms;
      • Preventing unlawful modifications of permissible firearms;
      • Mandating that future gas-operated designs are approved before manufacture; and
      • Preventing unlawful firearm self-assembly and manufacturing.

Protects Second Amendment Rights

  • The GOSAFE Act protects Americans’ constitutional right to own a gun based on a firearm’s established use for self-defense, hunting or sporting purposes.
  • The GOSAFE Act accomplishes this by including exemptions based on maximum ammunition capacity according to a firearm’s individual class: a rifle, shotgun, or handgun.

Limits High-Capacity Ammunition Devices, Outlaws Conversion Devices

  • The GOSAFE Act limits a firearm’s ability to inflict maximum harm in a short amount of time by directly regulating large capacity ammunition feeding devices.

The GOSAFE Act is endorsed by Everytown for Gun Safety; Giffords, Brady: United Against Gun Violence; March Fourth; March for Our Lives; Sandy Hook Promise; American Federation of Teachers; New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence; Harold Medina, Chief of Police, Albuquerque Police Department; Kim Stewart, Sheriff, Doña Ana County Sheriff’s Department; Elisa Bequeria, Superintendent, Lake Arthur Schools; New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence; Rio Grande Alcohol Treatment Program; New Mexico Voices for Children; Patrick Nolan, School Board Member, Las Cruces Public Schools; Taos Alive.

June is Gun Violence Awareness Month. Since the death of her son and coming to Congress, Representative McBath has sought bipartisan, common-sense solutions to ending gun violence. Under McBath’s leadership, the first comprehensive gun safety legislation in over three decades—the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act—became law, federal funding has been delivered to states to implement extreme risk protection orders, and the Biden-Harris Administration created the first-ever White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention. McBath addressed the nation from the White House Press Briefing Room to speak to the significance of the federal government’s role in reducing gun violence in America.