U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-NY, who lost her husband and saw her son injured in the 1993 Long Island train massacre, will introduce legislation today to ban the sale of enhanced gun clips, like the one used by the shooter in the Tucson massacre of Jan. 8.
The enhanced clip used by alleged gunman Jared Lee Loughner in Tucson extended the fire power of his Glock pistol from 10 rounds to 33 rounds. Loughner, according to authorities, emptied the clip in his rampage and was in the act of reloading with another enhanced clip when tackled and subdued by several citizens.
Six people died in the incident, including a federal judge and a nine-year-old girl. Fourteen people were injured, three of whom remain hospitalized, including the apparent target, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-AZ.
Loughner is in custody and charged with murder.
The only purpose for the existence of these devices is to be able to shoot as many people as possible as quickly as possible. There is no reason that these devices should be available to the general public, McCarthy said in a release.
The enhanced clips were prohibited in the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, but the ban expired in 2004.
A gun control advocate since being elected to Congress in 1996, McCarthy has tried several times to enact legislation limiting the sale of firearms, often in response to incidents of gun violence: in 1997, following the Empire State Building shooting, which killed two people, including the shooter, and wounded six: in the aftermath of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, which killed 12 students and a teacher; and in 2007, following the Virginia Tech massacre, which killed 32 people, the deadliest peace time killing rampage by a single gunman in U.S. history.
That incident led to the first federal gun control measure since the assault weapons ban of 1994, mandating that background checks for gun purchases include the mentally ill. The National Rifle Association, the nation's staunchest opponent of gun control, supported that law.
McCarthy, however, is not likely to garner that kind of support in the current Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
Earlier this month, Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-VA said he and House Speaker John Boehner, R-OH, are opposed to the gun control measure proposed by U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-NY, a bill which would ban anyone from carrying a gun within 1,000 feet of a federal officer.
King has said he will continue to push for the bill, claiming it is important to have the debate even though passage would be difficult.
In the Senate, Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-NJ, plans to introduce a bill similar to McCarthy's.