Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. said Monday that Congress should take another shot at a proposal to expand background checks on gun purchasers and also should push harder to limit the size of high-capacity ammunition magazines.
Mr. Casey, Pennsylvania Democrat, said that tightening the nation’s gun-control laws in such a fashion would “substantially” reduce the likelihood of another mass shooting such as the one that took place in December in Newtown, Conn., which left 26 people dead along with the shooter.
Mr. Casey said the Newton shooting was “not about background checks.” He said the shooting illustrated the power and size of the magazines that allowed Adam Lanza to rip off upward of 155 shots in five minutes.
“What we should do, in addition to trying to schedule another vote on background checks, we need to take action when it comes to the ammunition, the magazines,” Mr. Casey said on MSNBC. “There is no reason why anybody should have that much ammunition available to them at one time, at one place. If [Lanza] had more time, he would have killed several hundred children. That was his intention.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, shelved a proposal last month to expand background checks after realizing he could not muster enough votes to pass the proposal.
The decision came after 41 Republicans and four Democrats teamed up to block a plan to expand background checks to all private Internet and gun-show sales. Current law applies only to sales by federally licensed dealers.
The Senate also defeated efforts to ban some semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.