Lawmakers want to ramp up gun control laws

January 11, 2011 8:26:22 PM PST
As a result of the Arizona shooting tragedy, there is once again a renewed effort to tighten gun laws in the United States. Specifically, a federal law to ban high-capacity ammunition clips.

Accused Arizona gunman Jared Loughner fired at least 30 shots from his Glock pistol, before he stopped to reload and bystanders were able to tackle him.

Had Loughner had a smaller magazine, with fewer bullets, his deadly rampage may have ended sooner. That's the argument from lawmakers pushing for a nationwide ban on high capacity ammunition clips.

"There is no reason for a citizen to have to have these large capacity clips," says Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-New York.

McCarthy's husband was killed and son wounded in the 1993 shooting on the Long Island railroad. California already limits clips to 10 rounds, but many other states do not.

"You're looking at what's left of my family," said Steve Sposato in 1993 with his baby on his back.

Sposato testified before Congress after his wife Jody was killed during 1993's mass shooting at San Francisco's 101 California Street.

"People who are out to kill a lot of people in a short amount of time, this is ideal for them -- 30, 50, 70 around clips. You look on the Internet, go to gun shows, you'll see them. They have no place in our society," says Sposato today.

In fact, the type of clip used in Arizona was outlawed under the 1994 federal assault weapons ban.

"...and then you can sign this piece of legislation that we know makes this nation safer," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, on Sept. 8, 2004.

Despite pleas from Feinstein and others for renewal, that law expired in 2004.

"I think the real issue is that who's holding the clip," says John Zuffi.

Zuffi is an avid gun owner. He thinks limiting clip sizes won't prevent the kind of violence that happened in Arizona.

"Somebody who's that evil and has practiced unfortunately to do... has thought through of what he's going to do will be able to change clips very quickly. I don't think that's an issue," says Zuffi.

Including California, there are six states that currently ban high-capacity magazines.