After attending the funeral for a 6-year-old killed in last week’s Newtown elementary school shooting, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy called on Congress to reinstate a federal ban on assault weapons that expired in 2004.
“Politics played a role in allowing that to expire,” Malloy said at a news conference Monday. “Politics should play a role in having it be reinstituted.”
The governor, who had attended Noah Pozner’s funeral, said some of the law’s restrictions on the capacity of gun magazines could have mitigated the horror that enveloped Sandy Hook Elementary School. Twenty children and six staff members were killed Friday before the gunman took his own life. Before storming the school, the gunman killed his mother.
“We know that in this case clips were used with 30 cartridges,” Malloy said. “That one difference could very well have been significant, and I suspect it would have been.
“You know these guns are not used to hunt deer,” he said, adding that he supports hunting rights and the 2nd Amendment. “But there is a reality that this stuff has gone too far and is too easy to own.”
Without stricter federal restrictions, tighter state gun laws — in places like Connecticut — are undercut by lax restrictions in other states, he said.
Adam Lanza, 20, used a Bushmaster .223 semiautomatic rifle to kill children and adults before turning a Glock 10-millimeter handgun on himself, Connecticut State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance said.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has promised to introduce new gun control legislation next year, and President Obama has vowed to use “whatever power” he holds to stop similar tragedies.
The president’s spokesman, Jay Carney, told reporters Monday that steps would be taken “in the coming weeks” to prevent gun violence, but said he didn’t “have a series of proposals to present to you.”
Connecticut has some of the nation’s strictest gun laws, Malloy said, but those laws may need to be revisited after this incident.
“Is there a law, a policy or procedure we could have had on the books that might have prevented this tragedy?” he asked.
Malloy said he believed the answer to that question was yes.