Newtown holds the first funerals for shooting victims

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Federal agents have concluded that Adam Lanza visited an area shooting range, but they do not know whether he practiced shooting there.

Lanza took classes at Western Connecticut State University when he was 16 and earned a B average, said Paul Steinmetz, spokesman for the school in Danbury. He said Monday that Lanza took his last class in the summer of 2009.

Lanza is believed to have used a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle in the school attack, a civilian version of the military’s M-16 and a model commonly seen at marksmanship competitions. It’s similar to the weapon used in a recent shopping mall shooting in Oregon.

Versions of the AR-15 were outlawed in the U.S. under the 1994 assault weapons ban. That law expired in 2004, and Congress, in a nod to the political clout of the gun-rights lobby, did not renew it.

In some of the first regulatory proposals to rise out of the Newtown shooting, Democratic lawmakers and Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, Connecticut independent, said Sunday that military-style assault weapons should be banned and that a national commission should be established to examine mass shootings.

“Assault weapons were developed for the U.S. military, not commercial gun manufacturers,” said Mr. Lieberman, who is retiring next month. “This is a moment to start a very serious national conversation about violence in our society, particularly about these acts of mass violence.”

Gun-rights activists remained largely quiet, all but one declining to appear on the Sunday talk shows. In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Rep. Louie Gohmert, Texas Republican, defended the sale of assault weapons and said that the principal at Sandy Hook, who authorities say died trying to overpower the shooter, should herself have been armed.

Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers John Christoffersen, Ben Feller, Adam Geller, Jim Kuhnhenn and Michael Melia in Newtown; David Collins in Hartford, Conn.; Brian Skoloff in Phoenix; and Anne Flaherty in Washington.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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