Speaking at a fundraiser in San Francisco on April 3, President Obama said that Adam Lanza, the mass murderer in a New England school shooting, used a “fully automatic weapon” to kill his victims at Sandy Hook Elementary.
This assertion runs counter to the official report of the Connecticut State Police, who list semi-automatic weapons–rather than automatic ones–as those used by Lanza.
According to the police report, Lanza used a Glock 10mm handgun, a Sig Sauer P226 9mm handgun, and a Bushmaster AR-15 style .223 rifle, all three of which are semi-automatic.
Obama brought up Lanza in a discussion of gun control laws recently enacted in Colorado. “[T]he issue of gun violence is something that has haunted families for way too long,” the President lamented, “and it is possible for us to create common-sense gun safety measures that respect the traditions of gun ownership in this country and hunters and sportsmen, but also make sure that we don’t have another 20 children in a classroom gunned down by a semiautomatic weapon — by a fully automatic weapon in that case, sadly.”
In the push for expanded gun regulations following Sandy Hook, Senate Democrats led by Dianne Feinstein (CA) wanted a ban on “assault weapons,” a term describing rifles like AR-15s which cosmetically look like automatic weapons but function far differently.
Feinstein’s assault weapons ban will not be included in the Senate’s gun control bill and will have to face a vote as its own amendment, which effectively dooms its chances of passage.