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Sandy Hook school shooting: Democrats speak up on gun control

Following the Sandy Hook school shooting that killed 20 first graders and six adults, Democrats are speaking up on gun control. They'll introduce a bill banning the sale of assault rifles and high-capacity ammunition clips.

By Staff writer / December 16, 2012

Ian Shull and his sister Olivia Shull receive a hug from their aunt Denise Mancini during a community meeting about gun control at the C. H. Booth Library in Newtown, Connecticut Sunday. Twelve girls, eight boys and six adult women were killed in a shooting on Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

Joshua Lott/REUTERS


In the wake of the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, President Obama may be avoiding one of politics’ third rails – gun control – for now, at least. But senior Democrats in Congress are feeling no such hesitancy.

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On NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said she will reintroduce legislation to ban the sale of assault-type weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips – both of which were used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that killed 20 first graders and six adult school staff, including the principal and teachers.

On Saturday, the medical examiner reported that alleged shooter Adam Lanza had shot each of the victims multiple times before killing himself with a semi-automatic rifle patterned after a military firearm.

On Sunday, Connecticut State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance reported that Lanza had hundreds of bullets in magazines that held 30 bullets each. A federal ban on such weapons, passed during the Clinton administration, expired in 2004.

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Although President Obama has voiced support for such a ban, he has not pushed the issue, even though polls indicate public support.

A CNN/ORC poll, conducted in the aftermath of the mass shooting incidents in Colorado and Wisconsin, found 57 percent of adults favoring a ban on the manufacture, sale, and possession of assault weapons, with 60 percent saying they would support a ban on the possession of high-capacity ammunition clips. 

“I’m going to introduce it in the Senate, and the same bill will be introduced in the House,” Sen. Feinstein said on "Meet the Press." "It can be done."

“We’ve tried to take my bill from ‘94 to 2004 and perfect it, and we believe we have,” she said. “We exempt over 900 specific weapons that will not fall under the bill. But the purpose of this bill is to get … weapons of war, off the streets of our cities.”

Citing the spate of mass shooting in the United States in recent years, Sen. Chuck Schumer said, “I think we could be at a tipping point.”

“The public will not accept as a new normal one of these events happening every month,” Sen. Schumer said on CBS's "Face the Nation."


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