Count Philly’s Bob Brady and Allyson Schwartz among the Democrats urging a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Each called for those moves today, shortly before President Obama’s spokesman said the president also backs a ban on assault weapons and closing the so-called gun-show loophole that allows for firearms purchases without background checks.
“Too many Americans die each week from gun violence,” Schwartz said on C-SPAN Tuesday morning, after calling for “common sense” gun laws in a speech on the House floor Monday night.
“When you see 20, really, babies who are just gunned down with a weapon that should not be in any civilian’s hand, it is action we should take,” Schwartz said this morning. She represents parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County. “That is not self protection, that is really weapons intended for one purpose only, and that is to kill many people at one time and kill them fast.”
Brady, a Philadelphia Congressman, also endorsed more thorough background checks.
“This really should have happened after Columbine and all these other instances,” Brady said. He noted that he gets an F rating from the NRA. “That’s my record and I’m proud of it.”
They are part of a chorus of local Democrats calling for tougher gun laws following last week's shooting in Newtown, saying they see this event as a turning point. Many on Monday said new laws were needed -- including Philly Congressman Chaka Fattah, New Jersey's Rob Andrews and New Jersey Senators Bob Menendez and Frank Lautenberg. Area lawmakers who have typically opposed gun control were non-commital on specific plans.
Obama spokesman Jay Carney also laid out the first specifics of the president’s call to enact new restrictions on access to guns today when he spoke about the assault weapons ban.
Meanwhile, the NRA, which has been quiet since Friday’s shooting in Newtown, issued a statement saying its members are were “shocked, saddened and heartbroken by the news of the horrific and senseless murders in Newtown” and “is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.”
The gun-rights group is planning an event in the Washington area Friday.