BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Congressman Chris Jacobs has introduced a bill that, if signed into law, would make it so people need a license to get an assault weapon.

It’s called the “Federal Assault Weapons Licensing Act.” The Republican, who currently represents New York’s 27th Congressional District, cited the mass shooting in Buffalo as one of the reasons for making changes to the state’s current gun laws.

“We saw firsthand in Buffalo, Uvalde, and countless other communities around our nation that high-powered semi-automatic weapons have the capacity to cause an extreme amount of destruction in a very short amount of time,” Jacobs said. “While the overwhelming majority of Americans who own these weapons are law-abiding, responsible gun owners – the increasing trend of mass shootings with these weapons shows additional safeguards must be placed upon obtaining them. My bill will better ensure these guns do not fall into the wrong hands, while still protecting Americans’ ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights.”

For those who already own an assault rifle, they would be grandfathered in if the law is enacted. According to a release from Jacobs’ office, the process of licensing would include the following:

  • mandatory safety course
  • pass an FBI background check
  • fingerprint submission
  • proof of identity

If the Federal Assault Weapons Licensing Act becomes law, the legislation says peoples’ licenses would need to be renewed every five years if they want to buy or obtain any additional weapons. A license would be withdrawn if the Department of Justice finds the person to pose a threat to themselves or others.

“Importantly, this bill will also increase the availability of information on criminals that the FBI draws from when conducting a background check,” Jacobs’ office said. “The bill also contains protections for the privacy and constitutional rights of license holders.”

Jacobs, who in June announced that he won’t be running for re-election, co-sponsored a bill to ban the civilian sale of military-grade body armor, along with Democratic Congressman Brian Higgins, earlier this year.

The Aaron Salter, Jr., Responsible Body Armor Possession Act was introduced in June. It has not been passed in either the House or Senate.

The full text of Jacobs’ proposal to require a license for buying assault weapons can be found here. Its status in Congress can be tracked here.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.