Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Magazines that fed bullets into the primary firearm used to kill 26 children and adults at a Connecticut school would have been banned under state legislation that the National Rifle Association and gunmakers successfully fought.
The shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Adam Lanza, 20, used a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle with magazines containing 30 rounds as his main weapon, said Connecticut State Police Lieutenant Paul Vance at a news conference yesterday.
A proposal in March 2011 would have made it a felony to possess magazines with more than 10 bullets and required owners to surrender them to law enforcement or remove them from the state. Opponents sent more than 30,000 e-mails and letters to state lawmakers as part of a campaign organized by the NRA and other gun advocates, said Robert Crook, head of the Hartford- based Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, which opposed the legislation.
“The legislators got swamped by NRA emails,” said Betty Gallo, who lobbied on behalf of the legislation for Southport- based Connecticut Against Gun Violence. “They were scared of the NRA and the political backlash.”
Proponents abandoned the legislation, which drew opposition from gunmakers including Sturm, Ruger & Co. (RGR) In addition to the e-mails and letters, more than 300 pro-gun activists, including many NRA members, attended a committee hearing to oppose it, said Gallo, a Hartford-based lobbyist for more than 35 years.