McCarthy, Lautenberg Planning to Introduce Gun-Control Legislation
House bill to ban high-capacity magazine clips expected this week.
by Sara Sorcher
Monday, January 10, 2011 | 3:56 p.m.
In the wake of the deadly shooting rampage that targeted Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed six others, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., and Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., plan to introduce legislation to limit high-capacity clips that allow shooters to fire a large number of rounds without reloading.
McCarthy is one of the most outspoken advocates for gun control in Congress, having run for office after her husband was killed and her son seriously injured in a 1993 Long Island shooting. The man who killed her husband -- like the gunman in the attack on Giffords -- used a high-capacity clip.
There had been a moratorium on these clips under the federal assault-weapons ban that expired in 2004. “We're looking at how we’re going to tweak this to make sure we can try and get this banned again,” she told National Journal, “so what happened in Arizona ... the amount of bullets he was able to get off in seconds, can’t happen again.”
"It’s certainly personal again for me," McCarthy added. She said she will try to introduce the legislation in the House on Wednesday.
Lautenberg said he is working with McCarthy's office and will introduce legislation to prohibit the manufacture and sale of high-capacity clips in the Senate when it returns in two weeks.
The suspect in the Arizona shootings, Jared Loughner, reportedly used a high-capacity, 33-round magazine clip in his Glock 19 pistol, allowing him to fire up to 33 bullets without manually reloading.
"Given that bystanders apprehended him as he attempted to change clips, if Loughner did not have access to the high-capacity magazine that he used, it may have prevented some of the other deaths and injuries that occurred," Lautenberg said in a statement.
"The only reason to have 33 bullets loaded in a handgun is to kill a lot of people very quickly. These high-capacity clips simply should not be on the market," Lautenberg added.
McCarthy is hopeful that gun-control regulations now will garner more attention in Congress.
"We’re not dealing with a gun, we’re dealing with a piece of equipment that goes with a gun," she said. "With the constitutional Supreme Court, everyone has a right to own a gun. Municipalities and certainly governments can have language that can protect their citizens, and large-capacity clips [are appropriate] certainly for the military and certainly for police officers.
"But for the average citizen, I do not believe they should be able to have large-capacity clips,” McCarthy added.