NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB) –The gun control debate has been at a fever pitch since Friday’s massacre Sandy Hook Elementary School. Legislators across the country have been declaring it’s time to reexamine gun laws.
That includes the Federal Assault Rifle Weapons Ban President Bill Clinton enacted in September of 1994 that expired after 10 years. “At the national level the reinstatement of the assault weapons ban, so it takes into account the evolution of technology, so it takes into acct the increased deadliness and the magazines of multiple rounds, and frankly the type of ammunition,” Governor Deval Patrick said.
Governor Patrick spoke of the tragedy today, about the need to eliminate access to weapons like the AR-15 semi-automatic used at Sandy Hook. Massachusetts already has its own assault weapons ban, and those who want to buy rifles must be licensed through local police departments.
The governor would like to limit purchases to 1 gun a month, and joining the National Mental Health Registry, so if mental health is an issue, it will come up in background checks.
While Gov. Patrick is pushing for restrictions on both state and federal levels, Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz is part of a coalition, Mayors Against Illegal Guns. He hopes this will turn from a conversation, into actual action. “We understand and respect the rights of lawful gun owners, I think the concern is to try to make sure we a eliminate weapons that have no place with sportsmen and hunters, and also look at eliminating some of the loopholes like the secondary gun markets and people who buy them and sell them to those who probably wouldn’t qualify.
Narkewicz hopes that in the wake of Newtown’s tragic events, something will finally get done. “Im hoping that we can keep this momentum alive and not let this congress go by without this debate taking place,” he stated.
There have been several attempts at renewing the ban, including proposal by Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) in 2003 before the federal ban expired, and in 2009 by then Attorney General Eric Holder.
Senator Dianne Feinstien (D-CA) said she’d try again after Sandy Hook.