House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, called on lawmakers to take action on the assault-weapons ban instead of waiting for the legislation to emerge from the U.S. Senate.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., on Thursday introduced legislation to ban many assault weapons as well as high-capacity magazines.
Pelosi praised Feinstein for her leadership on passing a ban in the 1990s, which the representative, speaking at an event in California, said was successful and saved lives.
She said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has said he will wait to see what the Senate does with the legislation. But that is not enough for Pelosi.
“My view is that if we do not act upon what we saw in Newtown and what happens day-in and day-out across the country, if we do not act to protect our children and the families of the American people, we have no right to talk about it,” Pelosi said. “We need actions now; we’ve had enough words.”
Pelosi said she is hopeful for not just the assault weapons ban, but more enforcement of background checks, more attention to mental health issues as they relate to this issue and the ban on high-capacity magazines for weapons.
“Why should someone have a high-capacity magazine that could deliver 30 shots?” she said. “Maybe seven, maybe 10. That would be a lot. But 30? That’s very, very deadly.”
The House Democratic leader also said that California, with the Democratic supermajority in both houses of the Legislature, is poised to create new gun laws that other states could follow.
“California always leads the way,” Pelosi said. “So I am optimistic.”