Sheriff Jerry Demings, Sen. Bill Nelson call for tougher gun laws

Suggest ban on assault rifles, high-capacity magazine clips

By Lisa Bell - Anchor

ORLANDO, Fla. - Florida Senator Bill Nelson and Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings are calling for a ban on assault rifles and high-capacity magazine clips.

It comes as Vice President Joe Biden is recommending 19 executive actions to reduce gun violence. He'll make the official announcement on Wednesday.

Nelson and Demings also want to close the loophole that allows people to buy weapons at gun shows in Florida without going through a background check.

"When assault weapons with huge capacity magazines are killing our children, then it's time for America to act," said Sen. Nelson.

Nelson suggested limiting magazines to 10 rounds, similar to what was required under the 1994-2004 assault weapon ban.

"This weapon, this weapon is for killing, it's not for hunting" said Nelson, as he pointed to an AK-47 and Bushmaster .223 taken off the streets of Orange County.

"I don't get it," said Eileen Rieg, who owns Rieg's Gun Shop in Orlando.

Rieg believes a ban on assault rifles is focused on cosmetics rather than reality. She say two rifles that may look different are capable of doing the same thing. Rieg says based on the 1994-2004 assault weapon ban guidelines, one would be banned, the other would be OK. 

"Why do something that we can just pat ourselves on the back and say 'oh look what a good boy am I' and it hasn't changed anything," said Rieg.

Rieg also points to statistics showing most crimes and homicides are linked to handguns, not rifles.

But Nelson and Demings see it differently. They say banning assault rifles and limiting high-capacity magazines are just common sense.

"They're not being used in the capacity as a defensive weapon but in fact, they're used for offensive purposes by criminals," said Demings.


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