Witnesses appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday to testify in support of S.150, which would ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition.
Those testifying included Milwaukee Chief of Police Edward Flynn, Mayor of Philadelphia Michael Nutter, and John Walsh, U.S. attorney for the district of Colorado. Some of those witnesses were directly involved with the Newtown shooting. William Begg is director of emergency services at Danbury Hospital where the shooting victims were taken, and Neil Heslin’s son Jesse was one of the victims.
The witnesses told the committee that assault weapons and high capacity magazines should be banned because they are not used for sporting purposes and can inflict great damage in a short amount of time. In his testimony, Nutter said: “Citizens have been killed on Philadelphia’s streets by handguns with high capacity magazines as well as by assault rifles. To me and to America’s mayors these are weapons of mass destruction and they are destroying our communities, our streets, and our families.”
Echoing these sentiments, Flynn urged the committee to pass S. 150. “Among the most difficult challenges I continue to face is identifying and implementing control measures that positively affect the firearms violence that occurs in our neighborhoods. It is time for Congress to pick a side and I am hopeful that it can be the side of law enforcement.”
Despite the emotional testimony from witnesses and pointed questions from lawmakers, the bill is not expected to pass. Read the testimony and watch a video of the hearing here.