Calls for gun control; opposition forms after Navy Yard shooting

by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis

The killing of 12 in Washington DC's Navy Yard is again prompting renewed calls for gun control.

“We owe it to the victims of the Navy Yard and their families to finally close loopholes that allow criminals and the seriously mentally ill to purchase firearms,” said Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI).

“I think there should be more gun control. I am from Connecticut so I was very affected by the Newtown shootings. So since then it has definitely been on all of our radars,” Julia Elia, a Brown University student.

But gun rights advocates say laws that are already on the books about criminal background checks, failed in this case.

“It's not a gun control issue. It's unfortunately a mental health issue. All of the mass shootings we've had in these last several years, all of them pretty much in our history – all of them involved mental health. These people have got serious problems,” said David Kenik, a gun rights advocate.

Kenik says the gunman legally purchased a shotgun.

It was not an AR–15 rifle as was initially reported.

ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, “The Rhode Island General Assembly considered some new restrictions on firearms this year, but none of them passed.

The General Assembly did appoint a commission to study gun related issues, but that committee has never met.

“Now the whole focus on the gun safety and the gun legislation was to focus on mental health. My question is, why hasn't the task force met?” said State Rep. Doreen Costa (R-RI).

Calls to commission leaders for comment, have not been returned.