Father of Newtown Victim Calls for Assault Weapons Ban

By: Associated Press, CBS
By: Associated Press, CBS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Fighting tears, the father of one of the first graders slain in the Newtown, Conn. mass shooting is begging the Senate Judiciary Committee to ban assault weapons.

A ban is not expected to pass Congress. But the father, Neil Heslin, on Wednesday urged lawmakers to consider the prohibition his son, Jesse, who was 6 years old.

The 50-year-old construction worker said he supports the Second Amendment right to bear arms, and backs sportsmen who like using firearms. But he said the Second Amendment wasn't written a time when firearms were as sophisticated as today's assault weapons.

Heslin spoke in support of a bill by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., that would ban assault weapons. Republicans at the hearing said the ban could violate the Constitution.


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein says there has never been a greater need for a federal ban on assault weapons.

The California Democrat made the remark as the Senate Judiciary Committee began a hearing on her legislation that would ban those firearms, as well as ammunition magazines that carry more than 10 rounds.

Feinstein says assault weapons are deadlier than they were two decades ago, when she helped enact a ban on those weapons. That prohibition expired in 2004.

The top Republican on the panel, Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, challenged the need for the ban. He said the government has done a poor job of enforcing current gun laws, and says the prohibition would take away firearms that people use for self-defense.

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