The U.S. should be ashamed that its laws would allow high-capacity gun clips used in the Norwegian massacre to be sold and shipped overseas, says a New York congresswoman seeking to restrict use of such clips.
"There should be a lot of shame," Rep. Carolyn McCarthy told Politico. "We’re sending a death warrant to other parts of the world."
The Democrat commented after issuing a statement saying a 1,500-page manifesto by Anders Behring Breivik detailed how he used lax U.S. gun laws to help arm himself before killing 76 people in a gun and bomb attack in Norway.
"Unfortunately now, internationally, it’s known that you can get here, buy your guns, buy your large magazines, and you’re not going to have any problem," she told Politico.
McCarthy said Breivik easily acquired high-capacity ammunition magazines from the United States. Such magazines would be prohibited from manufacture or import if her bill, HR 308, were passed and signed into law. The legislation has 109 House cosponsors.
The sale or transfer of high-capacity magazines made after 1994 was banned under a federal assault weapons ban that went into effect that year but expired in 2004.
The National Rifle Association has decried HR 308 as more than an attack on Second Amendment rights, saying, "Firearms designed to use magazines that hold more than 10 rounds are among the most commonly owned self-defense firearms today." There would be no way to tell new magazines from old ones, which are used for law enforcement, self-defense and target shooting, the gun-rights group says.
NRA did not have an immediate comment on McCarthy's statement.
Breivik's manifesto described his purchase of 10 30-round ammunition magazines from a U.S. supplier who mailed the devices to him, she said.
Under a section of his manifesto titled "December and January - Rifle/gun accessories purchased," Breivik wrote:
"10 x 30 round magazines - .223 cal at 34 USD per mag. Had to buy through a smaller US supplier (who again ordered from other suppliers) as most suppliers have export limitations… Total cost: 550 USD."
In a section called, "How much ammo does a soldier bring to a battle?" Breivik cited a need for high-capacity "banana clips."
"He should bring a total of two ammo pouches with room for 6 banana clips and one in his rifle so a total of 7 banana clips. In addition he should bring 4 clips for his pistol. Some carry more; 8 mags for the assault rifle and 4 pistol mags."
Breivik wrote that he failed to acquire certain weapons illegally in the Czech Republic.
"I have now sent an application for a Ruger Mini 14 semi-automatic rifle (5.56). It is the most 'army like' rifle allowed in Norway, although it is considered a 'poor man's' AR-15. I envy our European American brothers as the gun laws in Europe sucks [expletive] in comparison."
McCarthy blamed the "the easy availability of high-capacity ammo magazines in the U.S." for helping "enable a large-scale massacre."
"How many more innocent people need to die before we realize that some simple, commonsense gun safety laws in the United States could actually save lives?"
McCarthy said the Breivik’s manifesto came just a month after American al-Qaida spokesman Adam Gadahn issued an online video calling upon terrorists to take advantage of weaknesses in U.S. gun laws.
McCarthy has reintroduced HR 308 in several sessions of Congress since the 2004 expiration of the federal assault weapons ban. It was reintroduced this year shortly after the mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz., that killed six and injured 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
A high-capacity magazine was used in that shooting.
High-capacity magazines were also used in the 1993 Long Island Railroad mass shooting that took the life of McCarthy's husband and seriously injured her son, leading her into a life of activism for public safety. The devices were also used in mass shootings at Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, Texas, and Binghamton, N.Y., she said.