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Qualified Support for Democrats' Assault Rifle Ban Proposal

Local advocacy group Sandy Hook Promise says they "welcome" all proposals, but have not reached consensus on whether to support the legislation.

Senate Democrats proposed a bill Thursday that would both military-style assault rifles and high-capacity clips, and local groups have been quick to respond. The legislation is the first congressional response to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School that took the lives of 20 children and six adults.

Dianne Feinstein (D-California) introduced the bill at a press conference surrounded by assault rifles, including AR-15s, according to ABC News.

"I remain horrified by the massacre committed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown," she said, according to ABC News. "I’m also incensed that our weak gun laws allow these mass killings to be carried out again and again and again." 

The bill is in line with proposals President Barack Obama sent to congress last week, which also included enforcing background checks for gun buyers.

U.S. Representative Jim Himes (D-4) was a co-sponsor of the bill.

"It does not take a military-style gun to kill a deer, have fun at the shooting range, or protect your family,” said Himes in a statement his office released Thursday. “This bill strikes an ideal balance between keeping our communities safe and preserving the freedoms of American gun owners. I look forward to working with my colleagues to send this bill to the President’s desk.”

Sandy Hook Promise, the Newtown-based advocacy group started in the wake of the tragedy, offered qualified support -- but said they had not yet come to a consensus on endorsing legislation. The group had "applauded" Obama's proposals last week, but said change could not stop at legislation.

"As we search for solutions to preventing another tragedy like Sandy Hook, we have learned that there are no easy answers," said a release from Sandy Hook Promise co-founder Tim Makris. "We hope that our elected officials will review the wide range of ideas that have been put forward since the tragedy with an open mind and engage in a constructive debate that leads us to a better, safer place.  The one thing we cannot afford is inaction."

Connecticut Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy also join the coalition to introduce the legislation, according to the New Haven Register.

“This measure is a signature moment in this campaign to help stop gun violence,” said Blumenthal, according to the Register.

dave January 25, 2013 at 12:43 PM
There are plenty of Newtown residents who do offer their "unqualified" support for this legislation and the even tougher legislation being discussed at the State level. In fact, approx. 100 of us are going to brave the elements and march on Washington to demonstrate our support this weekend. The world needs to know that Newtown is throwing its weight behind these efforts without hesitation.
Rochambeau January 25, 2013 at 02:50 PM
There are plenty of Newtown residents that understand the politics of these proposals. The people spearheading this effort had this agenda before the tragedy in Newtown and have used it simply as a tool to advance that agenda. Numerous, honest individuals on both sides of the issue have admitted that gun control is not a solution to what happened at Sandy Hook. While we all grieve for what took place in our town, many of us do not support an agenda that disarms law abiding Americans and places them in line to be the next victims of the criminally insane.
Island Girl January 25, 2013 at 05:07 PM
I wholeheartedly agree.
Fred January 25, 2013 at 07:51 PM
I agree also. It saddens me that my hamlets name is being used for this political agenda. A paper published the addresses of New York gun owners. They had at least one robbery attempt to get guns as a result. Then someone posing as an anti gun rights activist went into the paper and asked the journalist and editors to join him in putting signs in front of their house saying "this is a gun free house" - they have on video the paper employees saying they would rather people not know there is no gun in their home so people don't know they do not have that level of defense, talk about hypocrisy.
Lisa January 26, 2013 at 04:37 PM
God Bless you for your strength, and for seeing through this awful agenda.

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