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Qualified Support for Democrats' Assault Rifle Ban Proposal

Local advocacy group Sandy Hook Promise says they "welcome" all proposals, but have not reached consensus on whether to support the legislation.

 

Senate Democrats proposed a bill Thursday that would both military-style assault rifles and high-capacity clips, and local groups have been quick to respond. The legislation is the first congressional response to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that took the lives of 20 children and six adults.

Dianne Feinstein (D-California) introduced the bill at a press conference surrounded by assault rifles, including AR-15s, according to ABC News.

"I remain horrified by the massacre committed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown," she said, according to ABC News. "I’m also incensed that our weak gun laws allow these mass killings to be carried out again and again and again." 

The bill is in line with proposals President Barack Obama sent to congress last week, which also included enforcing background checks for gun buyers.

U.S. Representative Jim Himes (D-4) was a co-sponsor of the bill.

"It does not take a military-style gun to kill a deer, have fun at the shooting range, or protect your family,” said Himes in a statement his office released Thursday. “This bill strikes an ideal balance between keeping our communities safe and preserving the freedoms of American gun owners. I look forward to working with my colleagues to send this bill to the President’s desk.”

Sandy Hook Promise, the Newtown-based advocacy group started in the wake of the tragedy, offered qualified support -- but said they had not yet come to a consensus on endorsing legislation. The group had "applauded" Obama's proposals last week, but said change could not stop at legislation.

"As we search for solutions to preventing another tragedy like Sandy Hook, we have learned that there are no easy answers," said a release from Sandy Hook Promise co-founder Tim Makris. "We hope that our elected officials will review the wide range of ideas that have been put forward since the tragedy with an open mind and engage in a constructive debate that leads us to a better, safer place.  The one thing we cannot afford is inaction."

Connecticut Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy also join the coalition to introduce the legislation, according to the New Haven Register.

“This measure is a signature moment in this campaign to help stop gun violence,” said Blumenthal, according to the Register.

Tom Jefferson March 18, 2013 at 10:08 PM
the Spineless GOP politicians are owned by the NRA, sadly so!
Steve March 18, 2013 at 10:33 PM
You're right, the NRA doesn't have that much power, but the 80 million firearm owners do. Actually, the people claiming the NRA has so much power are the anti-gun rights people because it gives them an organization to demonize. They consistently lie about the NRA & the media reports it unquestioningly. @Tom Jefferson: Bloomberg spent 2x as much as the NRA last election cycle & you're going to tell the the NRA owns politicians?
Sanchez March 18, 2013 at 11:55 PM
"It does not take a military-style gun to kill a deer, have fun at the shooting range, or protect your family,” said Himes in a statement his office released Thursday. “This bill strikes an ideal balance between keeping our communities safe and preserving the freedoms of American gun owners. I look forward to working with my colleagues to send this bill to the President’s desk.” In contrast to the majority decision in Heller: "It may be objected that if weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned, then the Second Amendment right is completely detached from the prefatory clause. But as we have said, the conception of the militia at the time of the Second Amendment ’s ratification was the body of all citizens capable of military service, who would bring the sorts of lawful weapons that they possessed at home to militia duty. It may well be true today that a militia, to be as effective as militias in the 18th century, would require sophisticated arms that are highly unusual in society at large. Indeed, it may be true that no amount of small arms could be useful against modern-day bombers and tanks. But the fact that modern developments have limited the degree of fit between the prefatory clause and the protected right cannot change our interpretation of the right." http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/07-290.ZO.html
Sanchez March 19, 2013 at 12:01 AM
FBI UCR 2011 Murder by Weapon Rifles 323 Handguns 6220 Shotguns, a VP Biden Recommendation 356 Other guns or type not stated 1684 Knives or cutting instruments 1694 Blunt objects Personal weapons 1222 What weapons of death are the problem?
Sanchez March 19, 2013 at 12:04 AM
The NRA "represents" about 4 to 5 million dues paying members as far as I can tell. There are over 100 million firearm owners in the US. 4% to 5 % of all firearm owners pay NRA dues. The belief that the NRA represents any kind of majority or even a big chunk of all the firearm owners is a fallacy.

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