New York Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy in her office in Washington,...

New York Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy in her office in Washington, D.C. (July 21, 2011) Credit: Eli Meir Kaplan

The gunman who shot and killed 68 people at a youth camp in Norway last week purchased 10 high-capacity ammunition magazines from an American supplier, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy said Thursday.

The purchase prompted McCarthy (D-Mineola) to renew calls for passage of a bill she has previously sponsored that would prohibit the sale or transfer of high-capacity magazines.

"This is another tragic example of our lack of commonsense gun laws failing us with deadly consequences," McCarthy said in a statement, "allowing a cold-blooded killer to easily acquire the tools of mass murder even from another country."

In a section of his 1,500-page manifesto titled "December and January -- Rifle, gun accessories purchased," alleged gunman Anders Behring Breivik wrote: "10 x 30 round magazines -- .223 cal at 34 USD [U.S. dollars] per mag. Had to buy through a smaller U.S. supplier (who again ordered from other suppliers) as most suppliers have export limitations. An alternative supplier was located in Sweden but it would have cost 1.5 times more, Total cost: 550 USD."

Breivik, who also is accused of killing eight in an Oslo bombing the day of his shooting rampage, does not name the supplier.

Also in the manifesto, Breivik expresses admiration for comparatively loose gun laws in the United States, writing that he envies "our European American brothers as the gun laws in Europe" are weak in comparison."

Officials with the National Rifle Association which has opposed McCarthy's measure, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, said Breivik was a madman who knowingly chose to attack at a location where he would not face others armed with firearms. Given how long it took police to respond to the youth camp, Breivik would have been able to inflict heavy casualties whether he'd used magazines with two rounds or with 30, King said.

"This is typical of Ms. McCarthy and everybody else involved in the nation's anti-gun movement," King said. "They will take any disaster and try to spin it to their best interest. And that's what's happening here."

McCarthy's office said her bill has been reintroduced several times since the 2004 expiration of a federal assault weapons ban that barred the sale or transfer of high-capacity magazines made after 1994. The bill remains in committee and McCarthy is in the minority, limiting its chances for passage.

Under the federal law that was allowed to expire, any magazine holding more than 10 rounds was considered high-capacity. McCarthy's bill uses the same standard.

In recent years, high-capacity magazines were used in lethal mass shootings in Tucson, Ariz., Binghamton, N.Y., and at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., and Fort Hood, Texas, McCarthy's office said.

The magazines were also used in a mass shooting in 1993 on the Long Island Rail Road in which McCarthy's husband was killed and her son injured.

With Tom Brune

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