Newtown police chief tells White House: Ban assault weapons, high-capacity magazines
It’s been one month since the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School and Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe says it’s time for the White House to ban military-style assault weapons, restrict high-capacity magazines and close loopholes in the background check system.
In an interview with NBC’s Michael Isikoff, Kehoe recalled that he was one of the first to respond to the December elementary school massacre and entered the school to find “the eerie silence in the hallways, the smell of burnt gunpowder and then the bodies of dead children on the floor of the classrooms.”
“I was sickened, I was angry,” Kehoe explained. “It was something I never could have imagined could have happened in any school in Newtown.”
The police chief said he became concerned when he realized that the shooter, Adam Lanza, had more firepower than the officers responding to the scene. Lanza was armed with a Glock 9mm pistol, a Sig Sauer 9mm pistol, a Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle and several 30-round magazines. Officers had only Glock pistols with 14-round magazines.
“Ban assault weapons,” Kehoe urged the White House. “Restrict those magazines that have so many bullets in them, shore up any loopholes in our criminal background checks.”
“We never like to think we’re going to be outgunned in any situation we’re dealing with,” he explained. We do a good job of securing dynamite in our society… [Assault rifles] are another form of dynamite.”
“I think they should ban them.”
Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday will present the recommendations of his gun violence task force to President Barack Obama. It was not clear if the recommendations would include an assault weapons ban, but guns rights groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA) have already vowed to fight even minor efforts to control guns.
Watch this video from NBC’s Nightly News, broadcast Jan. 13, 2013.