As the gun control debate rages in Washington, D.C., Americans are buying guns at record rates, motivated by the possibility of a ban on assault weapons and more restrictions on gun purchases. Gun shows have welcomed enthusiasts in record numbers as well. U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer (R-N.Y.) has asked gun retailers to take the initiatives against assault weapons into their own hands.
“Today, I’m urging our country’s major gun retailers like Walmart and Sports Authority to suspend sales of modern assault-style weapons until Congress is able to fully consider and vote on legislation to curb gun violence,” Schumer said on Sunday, according to CBS News.
Though several Congress members have discussed banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, no formal measure has been put forward. Vice President Joe Biden will deliver his own report on gun violence on Tuesday. National Rifle Association President David Keene said he does not believe a ban would pass, a view shared by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz).
Appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” McCain said he did not believe that any ban would put an end to gun violence. He attributed violence to “crazy people” and “deranged individuals” with access to guns. He used Norwegian killer Anders Behring Breivik as an example of an individual who was still able to massacre 77 people despite the country’s strict gun laws.
Republicans maintain that they are open to gun control talks, and several GOP members have said they would be receptive to suggestions of more extensive background checks and restrictions on high-capacity magazines.
“I’m willing to listen to what proposals come forward on that, but again, I don’t know that that would have stopped what happened in Newtown,” Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) said of changes to the background check procedure while speaking to CBS. “I think we need to be very thoughtful in how we go forward with what happens and make sure that whatever is done, actually, is a solution.”