by Christine Hall
U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District, said he's been hearing from his constituents about gun control since yesterday's shooting at the Sandy Hook School in Newtown.
"I'm hearing that it's time to get serious -- that this stops happening," he said in an interview with Connecticut radio station WNPR. "It's time to put an end to these ongoing massacres."
Asked whether gun laws need to be tightened in Connecticut, Himes said that state laws can only do so much. "It's important to remember that this perp broke every law," he said. "He was 20 -- you have to be 21 in Connecticut to own a gun. He had an assault rifle -- those are illegal in Connecticut."
Also, regardless of the laws in Connecticut, guns cross borders from less-regulated states, like Virginia, he said.
A national approach to the problem is needed, Himes said, noting prior shootings in other states, including the recent mall shooting in Oregon.
"We need to take a hard look nationally at this," he said. Renewing the expired Federal Assault Weapons Ban would be one place to start, he said. That law was signed into effect by President Clinton, and sunsetted in 2004, during the George W. Bush presidency. Several attempts to re-enact it have failed.
"There are all kinds of common-sense solutions available," Himes said.