Giffords shooter fired 31 rounds

As gun control backers turn their focus to high-capacity clips, NBC reports that 31 rounds were fired in Arizona

Topics: Jared Loughner, War Room, Gabrielle Giffords, Guns,

Giffords shooter fired 31 roundsEmergency workers gather at the scene of a shooting involving Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011, at a Safeway grocery store in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Chris Morrison)(Credit: AP)

NBC is reporting that alleged Arizona gunman Jared Loughner fired 31 rounds, not 20, as was originally reported, before his rampage was put to an end by bystanders who tackled him.

This gets at the issue of high-capacity magazines that I explored yesterday. Manufacture of magazines holding more than 10 rounds was illegal under the Clinton-era assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004.

Gun control proponents in Congress — chief among them Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), who lost her husband to gun violence — have seized on the high-capacity magazine issue as an area that is ripe for re-regulation. 

Her office told CNN that she hopes to introduce legislation in the next week to ban the sale of high-capacity magazines. It’s not yet clear if the proposed ban would also apply to magazines that are already in circulation; under the assault weapons ban, gun stores were barred only from selling new high-capacity magazines, a Brady Center official told me Sunday.

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Despite McCarthy’s efforts and the grisly shooting in Arizona, early signs suggest that gun control legislation is going nowhere in the Republican House. And given that the Obama administration completely ignored the issue when Democrats held the majority in Congress, it would be surprising for the president to launch a politically costly push for gun control measures now that Republicans control the House.

Justin Elliott is a reporter for ProPublica. You can follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin

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