Senators mull ideas on firearms

Colorado’s senators suggested a ban on military weapons Thursday as one way to discourage attacks such as the one that left 20 schoolchidren dead at an elementary school in New Jersey.

“There are legitimate questions about the effectiveness of a ban on military-grade weapons, but I believe that a multi-faceted approach, including a ban on such weapons, can be crafted that works for Colorado sportsmen, preserves our heritage, and can and will help save lives,” Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., said in a statement. “But the details matter, and I intend to work with law enforcement, sportsmen and anyone else who agrees that we must respect the Second Amendment while also keeping our children out of harm’s way.”

Udall and Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., also called for expanded mental-health services, as they voiced support for bans on assault or military-grade firearms.

“The shooters in Aurora and Newtown should not have had access to the guns or magazines they used,” Bennet said in a statement, saying that the nation has a duty to mitigate the risk of violence to children.

James Holmes is alleged to have used an AR-15, or a civilian version of the military M-16, in the shootings at an Aurora movie theater this summer. Adam Lanza was armed with two handguns and a .223-caliber semiautomatic rifle last week in Connecticut.

“I believe a combination of improved access to mental-health services, restrictions on certain weapons intended for the battlefield, and elimination of the gun show loophole are sensible steps that can reduce our children’s risk,” Bennet said in a statement.

Udall praised President Barack Obama for his call for a broad range of recommendations “because no single policy is going to be adequate in preventing gun tragedies in the future,” Udall said.

Udall also called for requiring background checks for all gun purchases, an improved background-check system that includes state mental-health records and cracking down on straw purchases.


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