POLITICS

House Dems: Ban ‘assault weapons’ and ‘assault clips’

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

House Democrats are huddling today to develop gun control laws, starting with a ban on “assault weapons” and “assault clips,” the chairman of a new gun control task force said today.

“This is not a war on guns,” Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Calif., who will chair the Democratic task force, said today. “[O]ur communities and our neighborhoods and our society receive no benefit from military-type assault weapons on the street or assault clips in the hands of anyone.” Thompson emphasized that they’re “not going to try and take law-abiding citizens’ guns away from them.”

The Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney wrote a helpful primer on gun control terminology, pointing out that Congress’ definition of an “assault weapon” is basically any gun that looks scary. And assault weapons (whatever they are) should not be confused with assault rifles.

“One is a meaningless term, as I explained above,” Tim wrote yesterday. “The other is a precise term that doesn’t apply to the AR-15 – despite the Times’ article’s suggestion connecting the two. Also,  ‘assault rifle’ describes guns that are already illegal — because they are automatic — and basically never used in murders.”

Rep. John Larson, D-Conn., looked to blame Congress for any mass shootings that take place in the future. “We are resolved in our caucus that the time to act is now and that we know taking no action is to be complicit in a future event,” Larson said.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed that Obama wants to move on gun control legislation. “He is actively supportive of, for example, Senator Feinstein’s stated intent to revive a piece of legislation that would reinstate the assault weapons ban,” Carney said, before mentioning other possibilities for legislation. “People have talked about high- capacity ammunition clips, for example, and that is something, certainly, that he would be interested in looking at.”

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