We Grieve with America Over the Arizona Shooting and Demand That Our Government Take Steps to Prevent This Type of Tragedy in the Future

(San Francisco, CA) Following Saturday’s mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence issued the following statement:

“The Law Center is deeply saddened by the horrific shooting in Arizona. Our sympathies go out to the family and friends of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and to all of the individuals touched by this tragedy. The Arizona massacre is just one more terrible example of the impact of gun violence in America and the urgent need to act with courage and commitment to achieve sensible gun policies nationwide.

The Arizona shooter used a Glock 19 handgun equipped with a large capacity ammunition magazine. That magazine, capable of holding 33 bullets, enabled the shooter to kill 6 people and injure 14 others in a matter of moments. Large capacity ammunition magazines – those capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition – were banned as part of the 1994 federal assault weapons ban, but were legalized when Congress allowed the law to expire in 2004. Large capacity magazines are now only banned in California and a handful of other states, not including Arizona.

Unfortunately, large capacity ammunition magazines are frequently used in mass shootings, including those which occurred at 101 California St. (the San Francisco assault weapon massacre that led to the formation of the Law Center), Columbine High School, Virginia Tech, and Fort Hood.

We are very pleased that Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy has announced her intent to introduce a new federal large capacity ammunition ban in the wake of this tragedy. We look forward to supporting her efforts and hope that our federal legislators will show their commitment to preventing future tragedies by doing the same. The gaps in federal law regulating guns are a travesty in this country, and one that we demand our government immediately address.

The Law Center’s recent publication, Gun Laws Matter, ranked Arizona’s gun laws as the worst in the country. Among other things, Arizona law requires no permit to carry loaded weapons in public, requires no background check for private gun sales, and allows guns in bars. In addition, Arizona enacted the so-called “Firearms Freedom Act” – declaring federal gun laws inapplicable to guns manufactured, purchased and possessed in the state.

The Law Center will continue to work to educate the public and to support the gun violence prevention laws that can prevent this type of tragedy in the future. We are reminded of the importance of this work, and thank our members and supporters.”