GOP Sen. Pat Toomey opposes ban on assault rifles because 'they are extremely popular'
US Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) (Photo: Facebook)

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) said on Tuesday that he would not support a ban on assault-style rifles because they are "very popular."


Toomey made the remarks after Fox News host Sandra Smith asked him if Republicans would do anything to prevent mass shooters from getting magazines that hold up to 100 rounds of ammunition.

"My focus is on keeping guns out of the hands of people who should not have guns, people who have no legal right to a firearm," Toomey insisted. "Guns that are described as assault weapons are almost invariably no more powerful than regular hunting rifles."

"They are no more lethal," he continued. "They are extremely popular, so to ban an extremely popular firearm, I’m not going to support that, that would be an infringement on the rights of law-abiding citizens."

Fox News host Rick Leventhal agreed: "You will never get rid of all of them."

"Nor should we because the vast overwhelming majority of Americans are not a threat to anyone," Toomey replied. "I own firearms. I’m a big believer in the Second Amendment. I’m not a threat to anyone."

The Constitution does not explicitly mention a right to own assault-style rifles and the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that certain types of weapons can be outlawed.

"If you confiscated my guns, no one would be any safer, and we should bear that in mind," Toomey said. "What we have to focus on is keeping them out of the hands of the violent criminals, those who are mentally ill. Those are the people that are committing these massacres."

In fact, it is a myth that most mass shootings are carried out by mentally ill people.

Watch the video below from Fox News.