Jul 28, 2014
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McCarthy Introduces Bill Banning High-Capacity Ammo Magazines

Congresswoman says national legislation closes a "gaping loophole."

McCarthy Introduces Bill Banning High-Capacity Ammo Magazines

U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-Mineola, joined anti-gun violence advocates Tuesday to introduce a bill against large capacity ammunition feeding devices.

McCarthy acknowledged in an interview with Patch last week that this new legislation won't change much in her district – or New York State for that matter – as there is already a ban against large capacity clips in the state as part of its assault weapons ban.

"With gangs, that certainly is a choice of a gun with a large amount of clips," McCarthy said.

The congresswoman said the bill brings the nation to the "same 10-round-maximum standard used in four other states today, as well as nationwide for a decade while the previous federal assault weapons ban was in effect."

"It closes a gaping loophole in the previous ban in which magazines manufactured before the law went into effect could still be sold or transferred," according to McCarthy.

The shooting in Arizona as well as McCarthy's new proposed legislation haven't affected sales at T&T Tactical. Sales manager Cena Tretola doesn't believe McCarthy is approaching gun control in the best way.

"Having more citizens take an active, responsible, licensed, approved role in their defense could have prevented this," Tretola said of the Arizona shooting. "When more licensed people responsibly own guns, then issues like the Arizona shooting should happen less often.

"Having higher capacity clips does not make a huge difference," Tretola said. "Instead, forming police anti-gang and anti-drug enforcement would be a better way to spend taxpayer dollars to fight violent crime."

At T&T Tactical, the store refuses to sell to anyone without a background check or under the age of 18 – 21 for pistol sales – with an approved county license. The store also offers shooting lessons.

"We want everyone who purchases a weapon to be trained appropriately," Tretola said.

There was previously legislation on the books that prevented large magazine clips such as the ones that McCarthy is now trying to ban, but it was never re-signed under President George W. Bush in 2004, McCarthy explained.

In her letter to her colleagues, McCarthy explains her bill saying, "The legislation that I will be introducing will prohibit the transfer, importation or possession of high capacity magazines manufactured after the bill is enacted. Many of these devices exist currently and it would be impractical and unwise to attempt to ban their possession – criminalizing individuals who purchased the device legally. Instead, the bill will prohibit the transfer of those devices currently in existence."

McCarthy sees no practical use for having large magazine clips such as the one used in the Arizona shooting of U.S. Rep Gabrielle Giffords.

"The only purpose for the existence of these devices is to be able to shoot as many people as possible as quickly as possible," McCarthy said in the letter.

McCarthy told Patch she hopes the families affected by the Arizona shooting will "feel that something is being done to hopefully prevent it from ever happening to any other family."

McCarthy has taken on the issue of gun safety since she was elected into office after her husband was killed and her son was injured on the Long Island Rail Road in 1993. Though McCarthy notes that this new legislation she's introduced would not have prevented an incident like the Arizona shooting or even the shooting on the Long Island Rail Road, it could potentially lessen the number of fatalities and injuries from guns.

"It wouldn’t have probably helped my husband, my son and those that were in the beginning of the car, but it certainly would have saved lives and injuries toward the other end of the car," she said.

McCarthy is going to be facing an uphill fight with opposition coming from the National Rifle Association and Republicans.

"Anything that has to do with guns and anything that has to do with what they call gun control and I call it gun safety, it’s always been a battle," McCarthy said. "The Supreme Court also said that municipalities and states have the right to pass laws to be able to protect their citizens and I think this is a case where that particular ruling fits in with trying to ban these large capacity clips."

McCarthy said she is going member by member and has already met with Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, Calif., and was planning to speak to new House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

Rep. McCarthy was first elected in 1996. She serves the 4th Congressional District.

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