Angus King: Assault Weapons ‘a Problem’ But Ban Is ‘More About the Looks of the Gun’

On Thursday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” Sen. Angus King (I-ME) stated that while assault weapons are “a problem for sure,” restrictions on them are “more about the looks of the gun than its operation.”

King said assault weapons are “generally not used for hunting, but I think, Andrea, the real gun-related problem here is not necessarily the gun itself, but the high-capacity magazine. That’s where these mass assaults really happen, when the shooter doesn’t have to stop and reload. In most cases, where you have a case like this, when the shooter has to stop and reload, that is a moment when he or she can be stopped. If you have a high-capacity magazine, that’s where a lot of this damage is done, and we don’t know yet what this fellow had attached to his gun, but from the number of people that were killed or wounded, it’s clear that he had some — at least 30 bullets, but they go up to 100, and that’s something that we’re going to really have to look at, and that’s something that I think we need to regulate. I’ve been saying for a long time, there are two things — the assault weapon is a problem for sure, but it’s more about the looks of the gun than its operation. I try to focus on what is the danger of the operation itself, and there are two things: One is high-capacity magazines, and the other is what’s called a bump stock, which essentially converts a single-shot rifle…into what amounts to a machine gun where you can spray bullets. And we don’t know yet whether this fellow had one of those. Those are the — I think that’s where we really need to focus our attention, and I hope that that’s a place where we can get something done.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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