McCarthy seeks ban on weapon used in Arizona

Six balloons fly at a prayer service, representing

Six balloons fly at a prayer service, representing the six people killed in Saturday's shooting spree in Tuscon, Arizona. (Jan. 9, 2010) Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Rep. Carolyn McCarthy said she will seek to ban the type of high-capacity semi-automatic-weapon magazines used by the shooter in Saturday's Arizona rampage that killed six people and critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).

McCarthy (D-Mineola) said she will introduce legislation this week to ban the larger magazines, or clips, illegal nationally for 10 years before the Clinton-era assault weapons ban expired in 2004. Such clips remain illegal in New York State under a similar law.

"Looking at the number of clips that he was able to fire, from 15 to 20 rounds, we need to look at those and say, 'Why should an average citizen be able to have that?' " McCarthy told Newsday. "If you have a semiautomatic and can't take someone down with a standard clip, you shouldn't have one."

Standard Glock pistol clips hold up to 15 rounds of ammunition, according to the manufacturer's website. CBS News reported the high-capacity clip used in the Tucson shooting held up to 33 rounds, meaning a shooter can discharge more than twice as many bullets before having to reload.

Clips holding more than 10 bullets made after 1994 were illegal under the assault weapons ban signed that year by President Bill Clinton, but the ban was allowed to expire in 2004.

McCarthy is a leading gun control advocate whose political rise came after the 1993 Long Island Rail Road shooting in which Colin Ferguson used a high-capacity clip to kill her husband and wound her son.

She is planning a formal announcement on the legislation Monday and will introduce the bill when the House returns to session. Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) suspended business after the Giffords shooting.

McCarthy, who has offered similar bills in recent years that stalled, said she has no illusions that restricting gun rights will be easy with the GOP controlling the House.

"I know that I will not be able to save every life in every situation, but that doesn't mean that we should not do anything," she said Sunday night.

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