Video: Diana DeGette pushes for immediate vote on high-capacity magazine ban
We reported yesterday that Representative Ed Perlmutter, a Democrat, plans to introduce an assault weapons ban on the very first day of the new Congress. But his colleague, Democrat Diana DeGette, is pushing for gun-control action even sooner with a bill to ban high-capacity assault magazines that she wants to see voted and passed this week, before the end of the 112th Congress. See video of her speech below.
Here's footage, courtesy of DeGette's office, of her testimony yesterday in Washington, D.C., in which she urged the leadership to give Congress a chance to vote this week on legislation that would ban the production and sale of high-capacity ammunition clips.
Since the Aurora theater shooting on July 20, both Perlmutter and DeGette have said they support policy changes that might reduce the risk of a terrible mass shooting.
Just days after suspect James Holmes entered a movie theater and fired shots that killed twelve and injured dozens more, Perlmutter called for the reinstatement of the assault weapons ban. His aides say he has been working on this bill for months, but he renewed the call this week and said he would bring it forward on the first day of the new Congress next month.
The urgency and momentum around the measure stems from the tragedy in Connecticut on Friday, in which a twenty-year-old gunman, with the same kind of assault rifle that Holmes carried, entered an elementary school and killed twenty children and six adults.
That horrific event has sparked a heated gun debate across the country -- and one that is getting a lot of attention in Colorado, where two days before the shooting, Governor John Hickenlooper said he wants to see new legislation that would address this kind of violence.
And yesterday President Barack Obama, who has said he supports the assault weapons ban, made his boldest move yet on gun policy, announcing a task force on the issue that will come up with a package of policy recommendations in January.
Yesterday also marked the Democrats' push for a "first step to address gun massacres," as DeGette's office says in a press release. DeGette, who in August introduced a bill to restrict online ammunition sales, joined Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, Representative Carolyn McCarthy of New York and dozens of House Democrats to call for the immediate passage this week of a bill that would prohibit the sale of the kind of clips that were used in Newtown, Connecticut, and in Aurora. Perlmutter also supports this measure; if it doesn't pass this week, his office says it will be folded into the assault weapons ban he has proposed.
DeGette's measure, which she and McCarthy introduced earlier this Congress, needs to come to a vote immediately if they hope to pass it this year. That would require buy-in from the GOP.
Continue for more on Diana DeGette's remarks yesterday.