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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.

James Property LLC January 25, 2013 at 02:04 PM
Wait a minute, has it not been proven that he did not use an assault rifle, and the rifle he did have was in the car.... Hello it is not the gun it is the idiot that was given the gun to use by a person ( his mother ) who knew he had a physiological issue.
Joe Blow January 25, 2013 at 02:55 PM
He was not "given a gun" he stole it. More "feel good" politics to punish law abiding citizens by taking away MORE of our rights instead of addressing the real problem.
James Property LLC January 25, 2013 at 03:07 PM
It's not people that are legal, and obied by the laws. The trouble is the illegal people, and they reason they are illegal is they don't care what the laws are. They don't care!!!!!!!!
Abe January 26, 2013 at 01:40 AM
11 teen deaths EVERY DAY caused by texting while driving – Ins. Institute for Hwy Safety Fatality Facts. Seems to be a far more serious problem than assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Perhaps we should address that first and improve mental health care next.
Joe Blow January 26, 2013 at 04:32 AM
Many people fail to realize that not 2 miles from the Sandy Hook School stood one of the largest mental health facilities in the state. It was closed, along with many others, 15 years ago. Where did all these mentally ill people go? Were they miraculously cured? I'll tell you where they are, doped up on prescription meds wandering around in society, that's where.

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