Reporting Holly Wagner
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — President Obama is asking for a new, stronger assault weapons ban after the mass shooting in Connecticut where 20 elementary school students were murdered.
Obama is proposing a 10-round limit on the size of ammunition magazines, universal background checks for gun sales and more resource officers and counselors in schools.
“What’s more important: Doing whatever it takes to get an ‘A’ grade from the gun lobby that funds their campaigns or giving parents some peace of mind when they drop their child off for first grade?” Obama offered.
The National Rifle Association says it will fight most of the President’s proposals, but there is common ground when it comes to expanding background checks. Several Republican lawmakers released statements saying they will oppose any new gun laws.
The NRA has suggested having armed guards in schools. Chaska Police Chief Scott Knight testified about that in Washington yesterday at a special capitol hearing on gun violence.
“The proposal to arm teachers and volunteers in our schools is a distraction and it’s very dangerous. It opens a host of security issues,” said Scott Knight, Chaska’s chief of police. “It is very difficult for even a highly-trained police officer to engage an active shooter. It takes a great deal of training, something that our teachers and principals and superintendents aren’t inclined to do.”
“In nine minutes that shooter cooked off one round every three seconds: 180 rounds, we can’t afford nine minutes. We can’t afford nine seconds,” said Republican Sen. Jim Tomes of Indiana. “These schools are thousands of square feet, multiple floors. We need someone right then when the moment occurs to stop it at that very moment.”
Knight is considered an expert on gun violence. He chaired the International Association of Chiefs of Police Firearms Committee from 2005 to 2012.
President Obama did sign 23 executive orders that do not need Congressional approval. One order includes training for state and local law enforcement, first responders and school officials on how to handle active-shooter situations.