Too often in this country guns find their way into the hands of criminals or the mentally disturbed. There is no legitimate reason for civilians to have access to military-style automatic weapons that serve the purpose of furthering criminal activity. However, the ban on these assault weapons was allowed to expire five years ago, letting dangerous weapons fall into the hands of violent criminals, including gang members, drug dealers and terrorists. I agree with virtually every federal, state and local law enforcement agency that the ban on assault weapons needs to be renewed as soon as possible.
It is shocking that an individual who is on the terrorist watch list can still purchase firearms and explosives in this country. This is unacceptable, and I continue to support efforts to end this threat to our safety. In addition, we must also close the gun show loophole that allows criminals to buy weapons without any background check. I strongly support other common sense laws, including banning the importation of large capacity ammunition clips, requiring semiautomatic pistols to have micro-stamped identifiers, and requiring child safety locks to be sold with every gun.