Orlando Tragedy Leads To Calls For Reinstating The Assault Weapons Ban

Supporters say it worked when it was in effect from 1994 to 2004.

The mass killing in Orlando, Florida last weekend has led to calls for reviving the federal ban on assault weapons.

Jen Paulliukonis, the President of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence, says the AR 15 that gunman Omar Mateen used to kill 49 people at the Pulse night club is meant for the battlefield. “This is a weapon that is intended to kill lots of people in a very short amount of time,” she said. “There’s no reason any US citizen needs to have that weapon.”

Paulliukonis says the assault weapons ban, which was in effect from 1994-2004, was very a very effective law. “We saw a decline in these types of mass shootings,” she says. “Since Congress allows that to lapse, we’ve seen an increase. and now we are seeing the bloodiest mass shooting on US soil.”

Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence says in a statement that this ban also included a limit on magazine capacity to no more than 10 rounds in a magazine. As a shooter is reloading a weapon, it gives time for victims to get away or incapacitate the shooter.

Paulliukonis says this ban does not infringe on a citizen’s 2nd-amendment rights which says citizens have the keep and bear arms. “There areĀ  going to reasonable limitations on any right that we have in the Constitution. To be able to keep citizens from owning weapons of mass carnage is a very reasonable limit on the 2nd- Amendment,” she says.

A statement from Marylanders to Prevent Gun Gun Violence says opponents of any form of reasonable legislation to prevent gun violence will argue that many shooters are fueled by religious extremism or hate, not the availability of assault weapons. . “We will always have people filled with hate. But we will not have to enable them to produce mass violence,” Paulliukonis.

She says Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence will be working with Congress to help reinstate the assault weapons ban, and will work to persuade a Circuit Court not to overturn Maryland’s current ban on assault weapons which passed in 2013.