Gun safety advocates rally in front of the U.S. Supreme...

Gun safety advocates rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court amid arguments in the Second Amendment case NY State Rifle & Pistol v. City of New York on Dec. 2, 2019, in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/TNS) Credit: TNS/Drew Angerer

WASHINGTON — As new details emerged Tuesday about the alleged shooter in the mass shooting that killed seven and wounded at least 30 more at a Fourth of July parade, New York state and federal Democrats began talking about reviving the long-dormant assault weapon ban.

The firing of 70 rounds at those watching the Highland Park, Illinois, parade with what police called “a high-powered rifle” came just days after both the Congress and the New York State Legislature passed new restrictive gun laws in response to mass shootings in Buffalo and Texas.

President Joe Biden on June 25 signed a rare bipartisan federal gun bill largely aimed at barring young, disturbed men from getting firearms and New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Saturday signed a bill to replace New York’s century-old concealed carry law that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down last month.

Now, despite Republican opposition and some conflicting studies on its effectiveness, Biden and several Democrats said it is time bring back the assault weapon ban that passed in 1994 and expired 10 years later in 2004.

“We must do more,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday in a statement to Newsday that said how the horrific wave of violence saddened and angered him.

“Congress has worked hard to pass the bipartisan gun safety legislation, and this is going to help save lives. We’ve given more resources and power to the ATF and now, with a new strong leader, they will be able to go after gun traffickers and stop the iron pipeline,” he said.

But he added, “As the author of the Brady Law and 1994 Assault Weapons Ban, I’ve always supported universal background checks and an assault weapon ban and we’ll continue to talk to our Republican colleagues and explore every option.”

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), who praised the bipartisan gun bill for including her measure to make interstate gun trafficking a federal crime, said Congress must ban military-style assault weapons: “These are weapons of war and should not be available to civilians.”

Hochul, who deplored another mass shooting following the May 14 racially motivated killing of 10 Black shoppers in Buffalo, said, “I think it's about high time we say that we were safer when there was a national assault weapon ban in our nation, and why we don't have the courage to get back to that place.”

Long Island’s Republican Reps. Andrew Garbarino of Bay Shore and Lee Zeldin of Shirley, the Republican nominee for New York governor, issued statements that focused on the mental state of Robert E. Crimo III, the 21-year-old man taken into custody in connection with the parade shooting. Neither voted for the bipartisan bill that passed last month.

“The suspect displayed disturbing behavior in the lead-up to the attack and those close to him should have shared this information with local law enforcement and also gotten him some help,” Zeldin said.

And Garbarino said, “While we are still learning details about the Highland Park shooter, it appears, as with so many of these individuals, that he is a deeply disturbed person. We must continue to prioritize mental health resources to stem the tide of these mass shootings.”

Garbarino did not respond to a query about his views on an assault weapon ban. “Congressman Zeldin does not support reinstating the ban from 1994,” said his congressional spokesman, Jacob Murphy.

Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), citing a 2018 article in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, said in a statement: “The ban worked.”

“From 1994-2004 when there was an assault weapons ban, there were 53 deaths from mass shootings that involved an assault weapon. When the ban lapsed, there were 182 deaths from 2005 to 2015,” Suozzi said.

“We must persuade our Republican colleagues to support an assault weapons ban,” he said. “The politics of pleasing your base simply is not acceptable.”

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