Gun control advocates have seized on the Colorado shooting to make their case for renewal of the law that bans 19 types of semiautomatic guns, in part because accused gunman James Holmes allegedly used a semiautomatic weapon known as the AR-15 in the movie theater shooting that killed 12 people and wounded 58 more. Holmes purchased the gun legally, but it would have been banned under the expired assault weapons law.
But gun rights proponents argue that tight controls prohibit would-be victims from defending themselves from attackers, who will acquire guns whether they are legal or not.
Brown, who has tried to walk a difficult middle ground on the issue, takes a different tack.
“Scott Brown supports the state assault weapon ban here in Massachusetts and believes that states are the appropriate venue for making these types of decisions,” Brown’s spokeswoman, Marcie Kinzel, said in a statement.
But Kinzel declined to answer several other questions about Brown’s gun control positions, including whether he supports gun control advocates’ proposals to require more rigorous background screenings for gun licenses, and whether he favored an NRA-backed amendment that limits the sharing of firearm trace information between law enforcement agencies.
Proponents of that measure say it protects gun owners’ privacy by preventing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms from releasing information from its firearms database, except during a criminal investigation. Opponents say police could do more to crack down on illegal gun trafficking if the database had fewer restrictions on its use.
Warren’s campaign said she favors an extension of the assault weapons ban, supports proposals to require more rigorous background screenings, including for people who purchase firearms at gun shows; and opposes limits on the sharing of firearms trace information.
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