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Greenwald: National Law Enforcement Leaders Have Supported High-Capacity Magazine Ban to Reduce Gun Violence

Assembly Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington) pushed for passage of his bill, A-2006, Thursday, which promotes public safety and reduces gun violence by limiting ammunition magazines to ten rounds. Greenwald noted that cracking down on high-capacity magazines is critical to reducing gun violence and noted that national law enforcement leaders have supported banning high-capacity magazines.

“A ten-round magazine limit is a reasonable measure that will save lives, reduce gun violence, and protect our communities from senseless tragedy,” said Greenwald. “A ten-round limit has drawn wide support from national law enforcement leaders because they know it is a balanced, common-sense approach that will save lives while respecting lawful gun owners’ Second Amendment rights.”

Numerous national law enforcement leaders have long expressed support for banning high-capacity magazines, including:

Jim Johnson, Baltimore Police Chief & Chair of the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence

High-capacity magazines are the deadliest of gun cartridges. They come in cases of 30, 40, 60 and even 120 rounds…[Baltimore County Police Chief Jim] Johnson, the Chair of the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence, wants to limit them to a capacity of 10 rounds.

The fewer the bullets, the more often the shooter has to stop firing, eject the empty cartridge and load another one.

A lot can happen in the window of time it takes to reload, Johnson said.

“Folks that are being attacked have time to react, to close that distance in,” he said. “I think any football player in America would like to have four-and-a-half seconds to get to the quarterback without any of the offensive players.”

An expert shooter like a police officer can switch magazines in less than two seconds. But for a nervous, scared adolescent, it would take much longer, Johnson said, which can be crucial.

During the Tucson, Ariz., attack on Rep. Gabby Giffords, gunman Jared Loughner was wrestled down when he stopped shooting to reload his 9-millimeter pistol. During the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting spree last July, police say James Holmes’ assault came to an end when his semi-automatic rifle jammed.

“As we’ve seen in America today, there have been several attacks where that reload is vital,” Johnson said. “Tragically, in the shooting of a congresswoman, the reload was instrumental.

“We’ve also seen this in Baltimore County, in a school shooting that we had, where the reload became very instrumental in allowing the teacher to actually tackle a student that was trying to reload a double-barreled shotgun,” he said . . .

“I have to advise you that even for law enforcement, 100-round magazines, 50-round magazines, have no place for law enforcement,” Johnson said. “Certainly, we believe that limiting a magazine to 10 rounds, what was in place from ’94 to 2004, is wise and certainly could save lives in America.”

Dest: ABC News (Dec. 20, 2012)

“High-capacity magazines are not used for hunting, do not belong in our homes and wreak havoc in our communities. Banning these magazines will reduce the number of bullets a shooter can use before having to reload. Reloading can provide a window of time in which to take down a shooter, as we saw in Tucson.

“I have been in law enforcement for nearly 35 years, and have seen an explosion in firepower since the assault weapons ban expired. It is common to find many shell casings at crime scenes these days, as victims are being riddled with multiple gunshots.”

“The common-sense measures we are calling for will not infringe on Second Amendment rights, but will ensure that we keep guns out of dangerous hands and excessive firepower out of our communities.

“Generations of Americans, including our youngest ones, are depending on you to ensure they will grow up and fulfill their roles in the great human experience. None of us can fail them. I urge you to follow the will of the American public and stand with law enforcement to enact these common-sense public safety measures.”

Dest: U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing (Jan. 30, 2013)

Bill Bratton, New York City Police Commissioner

Cops protect us, but for National Police Week, it’s time we protected them, too.

Former New York top cop Bill Bratton has joined forces with the city’s Citizens Crime Commission to support the ban on assault-weapons ammo clips that have been used in virtually every mass murder since 1984.

Remember, we can run away from these maniacs after they start shooting; cops have to run toward them.

“High-capacity ammunition magazines were designed as weapons of war,” Bratton says.

“They were designed to kill as many people as possible in the shortest period of time . . . They simply do not belong in untrained civilian hands.”

Anything less then a ban on these bulk bullet clips, like the ban proposed in bills before Congress, “is reckless … and wrong,” Bratton says.

Dest: NY Daily News (May 19, 2011)

Charlie Beck, Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department

The [Los Angeles] police chief on Wednesday endorsed a proposed federal ban on the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines that have been used in mass shootings.

If passed, the ban would prohibit the sale or transfer of any magazine that holds more than 10 rounds, though possession of magazines legally purchased before the ban’s start date would be allowed . . .

“There is no reason that a peaceful society based on rule of law needs its citizenry armed with 30-round magazines,” Police Chief Charlie Beck said at a news conference, adding that they transform a gun “into a weapon of mass death rather than a home-protection-type device.”

Dest: Huffington Post (Mar. 2, 2011)

Garry McCarthy, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department

Once again, Chicago is in the spotlight over gun violence; a reminder that it is the city with the highest number of homicides in the country.

An assault-style rifle with a high-capacity magazine was used in the shooting, which appears to be gang-related, Chicago Police Superintendent Garry F. McCarthy said Friday . . .

“We need to keep illegal guns and military-type weapons out of our communities,” McCarthy said. “Illegal guns drive violence. Military-type weapons, like the one we believe to have been used in this shooting, belong on a battlefield, not on a street or in a corner or in a park.”

The nation needs a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, he said.

“It’s a miracle in this instance there have been no fatalities based on the lethality” of the weapon used Thursday, McCarthy said.

Dest: Fox 2 Now (Sept. 20, 2013)

Charles Ramsey, Philadelphia Police Commissioner

On the streets of U.S. cities, high-capacity magazines pose a daily threat to bystanders and police officers . . .

In Philadelphia, crime scenes are often littered with 20 or 30 shell casings, pointing to the use of large-capacity magazines, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey says. In 2008, assailants shot and killed Philadelphia Police Sgt. Stephen Liczbinski using an AK-47 semiautomatic rifle and a high-round magazine, he says. Two years later, gunmen armed with an AK-47, SKS carbine and 30-round magazines shot Officer Kevin Livewell, who lived.

“We’re outgunned,” says Ramsey, who heads the fourth-largest police department in the USA. “We just go on and on and wait for the next tragedy, and nothing changes. Something needs to happen.”

Dest: USA Today (Jul. 31, 2012)

International Association of Chiefs of Police

“The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) commends President Obama and Vice President Biden for the comprehensive package of proposals they announced to combat gun violence. The IACP believes that the proposals and actions reflect an effective, balanced approach to addressing the plague of gun violence in our communities and nation. As this process moves forward, the IACP will continue to work with the Administration, members of Congress, and public safety leaders across the country to enact these much needed reforms.

“For many years, the IACP has been a leading voice in efforts to reduce gun violence. Our membership was, and remains, a leading proponent of universal background checks for gun purchases, the ban on military style assault weapons, high capacity magazines, and ensuring that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) has both a permanent director and sufficient resources to enforce our nation’s gun laws. The adoption of these, and other reasonable measures, will certainly assist in reducing the level of gun violence in our Nation.”

The IACP is the world’s largest association of law enforcement executives. Founded in 1893, the IACP has over 21,000 members in 100 countries around the world.

Dest: The International Association of Police Chiefs (Jan. 16, 2013)

“The IACP has been a strong supporter of the assault weapons ban since 1992, and our membership approved a resolution calling for its reauthorization at our 2003 conference. The membership took this action because we, as law enforcement executives, understand that semiautomatic assault weapons pose a grave risk to our officers and the communities they are sworn to protect . . .

It is deeply troubling that Congress and the administration have so far failed to reauthorize this critically important legislation.

Assault weapons are routinely the weapons of choice for gang members and drug dealers. They are regularly encountered in drug busts and are all too often used against our officers. In fact, one in five law enforcement officers slain in the line of duty between January 1, 1998, and December 31, 2001, was killed with an assault weapon, according to “Officer Down,” a report from the Violence Policy Center. The weapons in question–including the Colt AR-15, a semiautomatic version of the M-16 machine gun used by our armed forces, the Uzi, and the Tec-9 pistol, whose manufacturer’s advertisements hailed its “fingerprint-resistant” finish–have been used in countless murders such as the Stockton schoolyard and Columbine High School shootings . . .

The cosmetic features opponents of the ban point to are actually military features such as silencers, flash suppressors, pistol grips, folding stocks, and bayonets that were designed specifically to increase the lethality of these weapons and make them more concealable. Many come equipped with large ammunition magazines allowing 50 or more bullets to be fired without reloading.

Weapons of this nature serve no legitimate sporting or hunting purposes and have no place in our communities. Unless Congress acts, the firearms of choice for terrorists, drug dealers, and gang members will be back on our streets–where, once again, our officers will be outgunned by criminals.

If Congress and the administration fail to reauthorize the assault weapons ban, it will be up to the law enforcement community to demand that it be reinstated. Over the last decade, we have made significant progress in our efforts to reduce violent crime rates. The ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines has been a crucial component of our national crime-fighting strategy.”

Dest: The Police Chief (Sept. 2004)

David Chipman, former Special Agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives

In the shooting that injured Rep. Gabby Giffords in Tucson, Arizona, Jared Loughner emptied a 33-round magazine in 30 seconds, killing 6 and injuring 13. Inside a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, James Holmes used 40- and 100-round magazines to injure and kill an unprecedented 70 victims. At Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Adam Lanza used high-capacity magazines to fire upwards of 150 bullets as he slaughtered 20 kids and 6 adults.

“It turns a killer into a killing machine,” says David Chipman, who served for 25 years as a special agent in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Outlawing high-capacity magazines won’t prevent gun crimes from happening, Chipman notes, but might well reduce the carnage: “Maybe 3 kids get killed instead of 20.”

Dest: Mother Jones (Jan. 30, 2013)