PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP/WPRI) — Hours before shooters opened fire at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California, Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline took the house floor at the Capital – calling for a revival of the nation’s ban on assault weapons.
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Multiple gunmen opened fire at a social services facility Wednesday, killing at least 14 people and injuring dozens more. Two suspects, a man and a woman, were killed in a shootout with police hours later.
“I had just left the floor and learned about yet another mass shooting,” he said. “And you sort of just pause there for a moment think – ‘are we going to have another moment of silence and extend our thoughts and prayers and then do nothing about it?'”
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In his speech, Cicilline focused on Friday’s shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado that killed three people.
Robert Dear, the shooter in that attack, allegedly used an AK-47 style firearm.
Cicilline says in the coming days he’ll introduce legislation on behalf of House Democrats reauthorizing the 1994 assault weapons ban. That law prohibited the manufacture, sale and possession of semi-automatic assault weapons and ammunition devices firing 10 or more rounds. Congress let the previous legislation expire in 2004.
“We particularly have to focus on these very serious assault weapons. Weapons of war that’s only purpose is to kill multiple individuals,” he said. “The only thing that stands in our way is Congress’ failure to act.”
According to Cicilline, the country needs to fix what he calls “a broken background check system for buying guns,” noting that there should be a bi-partisan solution.