Tucson legislator goes after purchase of high-capacity gun clips

By Howard Fischer

Capitol Media Services/East Valley Tribune

A key Tucson legislative Democrat wants to make it a crime for Arizonans to buy a high-capacity ammunition magazine.

“I don’t think anybody needs a weapon of war on the streets of Arizona,” said Linda Lopez, the assistant Senate minority leader. Her measure, set to be unveiled Thursday would also outlaw both the possession and transfer of any such clip, defined as capable of holding 10 or more rounds.

But Lopez said anyone who already has such a magazine would not be subject to criminal penalties.

The issue of high-capacity magazines jumped into the gun debate again last month with the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Adam Lanza had a rifle with a 30-round capacity when he killed 20 children and six adults.

Lopez said James Holmes, accused of last year’s killings at an Aurora, Colo. movie theater also had a high-capacity magazine. And, closer to home, Jared Loughner outfitted his pistol with a high-capacity clip before killing six in Tucson in 2011 and seriously wounding Gabrielle Giffords.

The proposal will run into stiff opposition from the National Rifle Association. Board member Todd Rathner said he does not see how such a ban would save lives, as nothing in the law would preclude someone from carrying multiple clips.

“If you just practice in your bedroom you could learn to switch magazines quickly,” he said. Anyway, he said, there is no reason to limit the ability of people to arm themselves.



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