The weapon the guy used in Colorado — and assault rifle with a drum magazine that can hold 100 rounds — was illegal under the federal assault weapons ban.
But the federal assault weapons ban was killed by Republicans in 2004,
Reps. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., and Michael Castle, R-Del., said they were disheartened. “My leadership is playing Russian roulette,” Shays said. “There will be without question a horrific crime committed without an assault weapon ban, and every member of Congress will have to ask where were they on this issue.”
Castle said gun manufacturers have offered discounts and pre-orders for months. “The gunmakers are salivating,” he said. “I hate to think of what can happen now.”
The public wanted the ban extended but what the public wants doesn’t count. USA Today: Popularity can’t extend ’94 assault weapon ban,
The law’s demise is playing out against a curious backdrop: Several polls have indicated that there is broad public support for the ban, and both President Bush and Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry say they support it.
… Meanwhile, a poll released this week by the National Annenberg Election Survey found that 68% of Americans support renewing the ban.
68% wanted it extended. It was effective. But the NRA had the big money…
P.S. Mexico — Calderon Blames Violence On End Of U.S. Gun Ban,
Mexican President Felipe Calderon said drug-related violence is being fueled by illegal imports of U.S. guns that have surged since a ban on assault weapons ended in 2004.
“The violence in Mexico started when the assault weapons ban expired,” Calderon, 48, said today in an interview on the “Charlie Rose” program airing on PBS and Bloomberg Television.