Rep. Adam Schiff said in a statement Tuesday that an Assault Weapons Ban should be reinstated in light of the Colorado shooting where suspect James Holmes allegedly shot 71 people within 90 seconds using an assault rifle.
Schiff is one of the few Democrats who has spoken out on guns after the tragedy.
The federal Assault Weapons Ban, which prohibited the manufacturing of 19 types of semiautomatic firearms for civilian use, expired after a decade in 2004, driving up sales at some gun shops. (In his 2000 presidential campaign, President George W. Bush said he would sign an extension of the ban, according to USA Today, but did not urge Congress to send him a bill aimed at banning certain assault weapons. Congressional Republicans, who controled the house, never sent the president such a bill.)
Should we bring it back?
Here's what Schiff has to say:
“I was deeply saddened by the tragic and senseless shooting at an Aurora, Colorado movie theater. Our priority must be aiding and comforting the victims and their families. I also believe we should take this moment to examine our laws and determine how we can prevent horrendous acts like this one in the future. We will never be able to stop all senseless acts of violence—there will always be those, who, for reasons unfathomable to us all, decide to take the lives of innocent people around them. But there are some common sense steps we can take to make these types of shootings more rare and less destructive.
"First, my colleague Senator Feinstein led the charge almost 20 years ago to pass the Assault Weapons Ban, but it has since been allowed to expire. It is past time to put that law, which would have outlawed the type of gun used by the shooter, back in place. Second, we should pass the Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act sponsored by Congresswoman McCarthy, which would prohibit the sale of ammunition magazines that can hold more than ten rounds at a time. The ability to fire 30 or even 100 shots without reloading increases the destructive capacity of shooters while serving no legitimate purpose. Third, we must also examine legislation to close the gun show loopholes and crack down on straw purchasing, both of which help divert guns out of legal channels and into black markets where they are easily obtained by criminals and the mentally ill.
“I realize, of course, these steps will not stop all mass killings, or even all mass shootings. As the governor of Colorado pointed out, if this killer didn't have access to the weapons and ammunition he used, he might have built a bomb instead. But it is also true that we do not need to make such killing easy, and I do not believe that anything in the Second Amendment, or any desire to hunt or for self-protection requires ready access to assault weapons with extended ammunition clips."
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