By Dave Jamieson
Speaking about the mass killing of 26 children and adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., on Friday, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) called for tighter gun control laws on Sunday, suggesting the federal ban on assault weapons ban should not have been allowed to expire.
"I think when we talk about the assault weapons ban that was in place in the U.S., to have allowed that to have gone away ...," Malloy told Candy Crowley on CNN's "State of the Union." "These are assault weapons. You don't hunt deer with these things."
"One can only hope we'll find a way to limit these weapons that really only have one purpose," he added.
The federal assault weapons ban, which restricted features such as magazine capacity on guns, was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994 and lasted ten years. Legislators, most notably Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), have tried several times to renew the ban without success, meeting heavy opposition from the gun lobby.
Speaking on Fox News Sunday, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) sounded a note similar to Malloy's. "We ought to restore the assault weapons ban -- not to take anybody's guns away that they have now, but to stop the manufacturing of these weapons," Lieberman said.
The Obama administration has said it would like to see the ban implemented once again. Asked about the president's stance in the wake of the Connecticut massacre, White House spokesman Jay Carney said "it does remain a commitment of his."
The weapons used by 20-year-old Adam Lanza in the Connecticut shooting reportedly included a semiautomatic .223-caliber rifle made by Bushmaster and two handguns.
Malloy said Saturday that "there will be time soon" for a national discussion on gun control.