Grimm argues against banning extended magazines, citing workaround options

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Rep. Michael Grimm. (Azi Paybarah via flickr)
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Representative Michael Grimm said there shouldn't be any "knee-jerk reactions" to the Aurora, Colorado shooting that left 12 dead and 59 injured after a gunman opened fire in a movie theater Friday night.

The shooter, James Holmes, purchased most of his weaponry online, including a "drum magazine" able to hold 100 rounds of ammunition, which the Times noted "would have been restricted under proposed legislation that has been stalled in Washington for more than a year."

Grimm is a former Marine and F.B.I. agent whose use of a firearm was once called into question.

At his campaign office opening, I asked him what response he'd like to see from Washington.

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"Let's first examine what the laws are on the books before I would even consider a new law," he told me. "I think there should be a real and honest discussion about are the laws being effectively enforced."

I asked whether he'd consider a ban on the sale of extended magazine clips that facilitate mass shootings. 

"How many guns was he carrying?" Grimm asked rhetorically. "Four, or something like that. It's not going to stop a maniac from carrying more guns. And if you look at the statistics, a vast majority of crimes with guns are illegal guns. So what you are going to do is you're not going to be able to get them away from people who are getting them illegally. So I'm not sure that that's the answer."

He also said, "If a maniac wants to shoot a lot of people, extended magazines aren't going to prevent them if they didn't have them. They're going to carry an extra gun. Or they're going to tape clips together like they do in the military. There's so many other ways around it that I don't think it's an effective solution."

"I think it's a good political talk for those that are anti-Second Amendment," he said. "It's a good rallying cry, but I don't want to play politics with this. I want to respect our constitution while keeping our citizens as safe as we possibly can. So let's take the politics out of it and have a real discussion."