Senator Harris to promise ban on U.S. imports of some high-powered guns

Senator Harris

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Expanding on her gun control proposals, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris will announce on Wednesday that if elected president she will prohibit imports of some high-powered guns into the United States.

Harris has already endorsed a swath of gun control measures, but at a campaign stop in New Hampshire, she will promise to institute a ban on “AR-15-style assault weapons,” a senior campaign official said.

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There is legal precedent for such a ban, the aide said, pointing to similar measures by former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush taken in order to study permanent bans.

Harris is vying against more than 20 Democrats for the party’s nomination to challenge Republican President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

The AR-15, or assault weapons, are catch-all terms often used by critics to describe semi-automatic rifles and other high-capacity fire arms.

Such guns were used in several recent mass shootings in the United States, but Congress has so far failed to ban them.

It is unclear just how many weapons Harris’ proposal would affect. Her campaign estimates 4 million rifles have been imported into the United States, based on industry figures.

The United States has a robust domestic market and 2.5 million rifles were made in 2017 alone, the most recent year for which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms provided data.

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