New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg and Long Island Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy announced on the steps of New York’s City Hall this morning that they planned to introduce new legislation which they said would have prevented the type of massacre which occurred earlier this month in Aurora, Colorado.
“Words alone don’t show that we are resolved to prevent this from happening again,” Sen. Lautenberg said. “We in this country have to stand up against these brutal attacks…those who favor gun ownership, put that aside and stand up for the safety and well-being of our citizens.”
The bill, they say, would prevent criminals from stockpiling ammunition by limiting the ability of people to order ammunition over the Internet. The bill would require anyone selling ammunition to become a licensed dealer, and would require dealers to maintain records about the sale of ammunition, and require dealers to report to the police anyone who buys more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition.
Ms. McCarthy, whose husband was killed and son wounded during a Long Island Railroad shooting in 1993, slammed the National Rifle Association for the pressure they put on lawmakers to vote against sensible gun control legislation.
“The NRA is nothing more than a front for the gun manufacturers and their job is to intimidate legislators and members of Congress. Their job is to try to convince people that everybody should own a gun in this country,” she said.
President Barack Obama, mindful of the 2012 elections, has said that there need to be common sense gun laws in this country but has declined to push for any specific measures. Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who appeared on the press release with Ms. McCarthy and Mr. Lautenberg but not at the press conference today, has slammed both Mr. Obama and his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, for their silence on the gun issue.
Asked about whether or not the White House supports the bill, Mr. Lautenberg said, “The White House supports limits on gun violence. They are very clear about that. The president has said it. Now, I am not able to say that they support every dot and period that goes with it. It is still in formation and we are moving along.”
When pressed, Mr. Lautenberg responded, “I don’t think the president has said he won’t support any new gun laws. I think he said that serious legislation has to be promulgated and I think the chances are pretty good. We are not going to spell out here all of the elements of the technique of getting it done, but we got it done before.”
And Ms. McCarthy said that in Mr. Obama’s heart, he is a gun control proponent.
“I believe in my heart that the president will do the right thing, but the Senate and the House have to do the right thing first,” she said. “And I guarantee you that the president will sign that bill when it gets through our two chambers.”
And in the wake of polls that show that even NRA members favor some gun laws, Ms. McCarthy urged the president to ignore the bills opponents.
“Obama’s not going to get any of those votes anyhow,” she said.
Mr. Lautenberg didn’t agree.
“There may be a family dispute here. I think he will get a few.”