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Letter: Time to ban assault rifles, require background checks

Time to ban assault rifles, require background checks

The U.S. ranks No. 1 in the world in mass shootings. The U.S., with 5 percent of the world’s population, accounts for 48 percent of civilians killed by guns. It has the highest guns per capita in the world. There are 82 guns for every 100 individuals.

All countries have people who are mentally ill and troubled. Only in the U.S., with its easy access to assault military weapons, can they legally purchase assault rifles to kill many people in just a few minutes. At the Parkland, Fla., school shooting, 150 rounds were fired in 6 minutes, with 17 fatalities. An 18 year-old can’t legally purchase beer, but he can purchase an assault rifle with magazines filled with lethal bullets.

Connecticut has significantly expanded an existing ban on the sale of assault weapons, prohibiting the sale of magazines with more than 10 rounds and requiring the registration of existing assault rifles and higher capacity magazines. The state also requires background checks for all firearms sales and created a registry of weapons offenders.

A federal ban on assault semi-automatic weapons and bump stocks in no way is an infringement on our Second Amendment rights.

It’s time for Republicans to break with the NRA and gun lobby, and pass federal legislation like Connecticut to ban assault rifles and require comprehensive background checks for all gun purchases.

Tom Graham

East Aurora

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