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McCarthy to call for ban on high-capacity ammo clips

By Allan Chernoff, CNN Sr. Correspondent
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Could law have prevented shooting?
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • McCarthy will propose legislation banning high-capacity ammunition magazines
  • A ban on clips was part of a federal assault weapons ban that expired in 2004
  • Tucson suspect allegedly used a clip reported to have had held 31 rounds

New York (CNN) -- Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy of New York -- who ran for office after a gunman killed her husband and injured her son -- is drafting legislation that would ban the sale of high-capacity gun ammunition magazines to civilians in the aftermath of the tragic shooting in Tucson, Arizona.

"What we're looking at is high-capacity magazines and nothing else," McCarthy Press Secretary Shams Tarek told CNN, explaining the legislation would be streamlined to maximize odds of passage.

A prohibition on the sale of ammunition magazines containing more than 10 bullets was part of the federal assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.

"We're hoping to introduce it this week," said Tarek.

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The alleged gunman in Tucson fired a Glock semi-automatic handgun with a clip reportedly having the capacity for 31 rounds. Only after the gunman's ammunition was spent and he tried to reload were bystanders able to tackle and restrain him, according to the Pima County Sheriff.

"The most immediate and obvious thing to do is ban high-capacity magazines. There's no reason for a civilian to have it," said Daniel Vice, senior attorney at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. "It would have saved people from being shot."

The alleged shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, 22, was scheduled to appear in a Phoenix, Arizona, courtroom Monday afternoon, according to prosecutors.

Loughner is accused of opening fire outside a Tucson supermarket where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, was meeting with constituents Saturday. Six people were killed -- including a federal judge -- and 14 others, including Giffords who was shot in the head, were wounded in the shooting.

Six states and the District of Columbia currently ban the sale of high-capacity gun magazines, according to the Brady Center: California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York.

 
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