State gun makers accused of ‘exporting bloodshed’ to the nation

State gun makers accused of ‘exporting bloodshed’ to the nation

File photo When James Eagan Holmes shot and killed 12 people in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater in 2012, one of the weapons he used was an AR-15-style rifle manufactured in Massachusetts. The Bay State has banned civilians from purchasing or owning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines for decades, but companies like Smith & Wesson, headquartered in Springfield, can still build them here and sell them elsewhere. Backed by parents who lost children to mass shootings and the Stop Handgun Violence organization, a group of Democratic lawmakers launched an effort Tuesday to change that dynamic, filing legislation that would extend the existing assault weapon ban to cover their manufacture for civilian use as well. The proposal drew immediate criticism from gun ownership advocates, who described it as misguided and insufficient to address underlying causes of violence. Sandy Phillips, whose daughter, Jessica Redfield Ghawi, was killed in the Aurora shooting, said Tuesday that gun violence victims and their families have been unable to convince manufacturers to stop producing military-style weapons. “These weapons are made in your state, but they can’t be sold in your state, so in effect, Massachusetts is exporting bloodshed to the rest of the country,” Phillips said at a virtual press conference alongside Massachusetts lawmakers. “There are no reasons other than the pleas of Americans for them to do anything to stop the carnage. Legislation is the only way.” The bill ( HD 4192 / SD 2588 ) filed Tuesday would prohibit Massachusetts companies such as Smith […]

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