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Titus calls for action on bill to ban high-capacity magazines

Updated August 6, 2019 - 4:38 pm

WASHINGTON — A Nevada lawmaker renewed her call Tuesday for Congress to ban high-capacity magazines used in mass shootings in Las Vegas, El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.

Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., again called for the House and Senate to pass her bill that would ban high-capacity magazines as pressure continued to build for a legislative response to ongoing gun violence tragedies that have shocked the nation.

She cited the three mass shootings over a week’s span in California, Texas and Ohio.

“The senseless mass shootings in Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton provide three more tragic examples of why firearms with high-capacity magazines have no place in our communities,” Titus said.

The Las Vegas lawmaker first filed a bill to ban the ammunition magazines after the Oct. 1, 2017 shooting on the Strip. That shooting left 58 dead and hundreds wounded.

She filed the bill again at the beginning of this Congress. It has 90 co-sponsors.

Titus joined a growing number of lawmakers clamoring for bans on assault weapons, magazines and laws to require background checks on all gun purchases following a weekend of carnage.

“We don’t want to see any more examples,” Titus said. “Families in Las Vegas and across the country know all too well the deadly consequences of inaction.”

The weekend shootings left 22 dead in El Paso and nine killed in Dayton. Three people were killed in Gilroy the week before.

The shootings prompted President Donald Trump, Democrats and Republicans to call for legislation to address mental illness and gun control.

Trump is expected to visit the communities of Dayton and El Paso on Wednesday. At the White House earlier this week, Trump called for a bipartisan effort to address mass shootings with legislation addressing mental health.

A White House spokesman, Hogan Gidley, said the president was spending the day Tuesday speaking to staff on a wide-range of policies before he meets with people in the two communities.

Gidley played down the need for quick legislative action.

“This is not about legislation that makes people feel good,” he said, adding that Trump is also weighing executive action.

Trump called for gun control after the Parkland, Florida shooting at a high school, only to drop the proposal days later.

Democrats have charged Republicans with buckling to the demands of the gun lobby in blocking legislation to limit the access to guns and devices that increase the rate of fire of weapons.

Nevada Democrats including, Sen. Catherine, Cortez Masto, Sen. Jacky Rosen, Rep. Susie Lee, Rep. Steven Horsford and Titus have called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to act.

They want McConnell to call the Senate back into session from August recess and pass two background check bills that were passed by the House earlier this year.

Rep. Mark Amodei, the lone Republican in the state congressional delegation, said he wanted to let law enforcement complete their investigations before “assessing the causes and identifying potential solutions.”

The White House has been evasive on whether Trump would sign the background check bills, even if the GOP-controlled Senate brought up the bills and passed them.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he is considering a bipartisan bill aimed at preventing those with mental illness from gaining access to weapons.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, called on Graham and Republican Senate leaders to bring up her bill to ban assault weapons, legislation similar to one passed in 1993 that expired a decade later.

Passage of that controversial law, pushed by then-President Bill Clinton, contributed to a GOP takeover of the House and the defeat of long-serving lawmakers, like Rep. Jack Brooks, D-Texas, the House Judiciary Committee chairman targeted for defeat by the National Rifle Association.

Cortez Masto is a co-sponsor of Feinstein’s assault weapon ban, and Titus has signed onto a similar measure in the House.

Contact Gary Martin at gmartin@reviewjournal.com or 202-662-7390. Follow @garymartindc on Twitter.

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