WASHINGTON Dec 19 Democratic legislators said
on Wednesday they had seen a groundswell of opposition to the
continued sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines and pushed
Republicans in the House of Representatives to vote to ban them
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats
called for a vote on Friday at a news conference announcing a
new Gun Control Task Force that was attended by more than two
dozen House Democrats.
"Extended clips - assault magazines if you will - we have to
take them away from anyone who would commit this kind of crime,"
said Ron Barber, the Arizona congressman who holds the seat of
former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Giffords nearly
died last year in a Tucson mass shooting in which the attacker
used such clips and killed six people.
"We cannot go on blithely believing that we can solve this
problem in other ways. We have to look at the weaponry used and
we have to look at the people who use it and we have to do
something about both," said Barber.
The White House announced separately on Wednesday that Vice
President Joe Biden will lead its effort to reduce gun violence,
a movement that has jumped back into the U.S. political
spotlight since a mass shooting on Friday in which 20 young
children were killed at a Connecticut school.
The House Democrats said their bill now has 150
co-sponsorships, after dozens of legislators added their names
after the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.
It was not immediately clear whether it stood any chance of
passage, or even a vote. Republicans hold a majority of seats in
the House, and none supports the bill.
Gun control is one of issues on which there are bitter
partisan divides in U.S. politics, with Republicans typically
opposing laws seeking to tighten regulation of weapons and
Aides to Republican House Speaker John Boehner - who is busy
negotiating a solution to the year-end "fiscal cliff" of tax
increases and spending cuts - were not immediately available to
comment on the Democrats' calls for a vote.