- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire charged Monday that people who buy the wildly popular AR-15 semi-automatic rifle are buying it “to do bad things.”

“I think people need to have their voices heard, and what I’ve heard from people in New Hampshire is that they think there’s reasonable legislation that we can pass including things like looking at the types of weapons that are so easy for people to get,” the Democrat said on “Mitchell in the Morning,” BuzzFeed News reported.

“The fact is, the AR-15, the gun that [Orlando terrorist Omar] Mateen used, that’s a weapon of war,” Ms. Shaheen said.

Mateen actually used a Sig Sauer MCX semi-automatic rifle, similar to the AR-15, to gun down 49 people at Pulse nightclub in Orlando June 12.

Ms. Shaheen claimed that what the AR-15 is “advertised as being able to do, technologically advances…killing people that previous weapons have been unable to do.”

“Somebody who is buying that kind of a weapon isn’t buying it for target shooting,” she said. “They’re not buying it to go out and hunt deer. You don’t need an AK-47 or an AR-15 to hunt deer. They’re buying it to do bad things and we need to recognize that and address it.”

Ms. Shaheen said lawmakers need to address campaign finance reform in order to reduce the National Rifle Association’s influence in politics.

According to the NRA, the AR-15 is one of America’s most popular rifles for sport shooting, hunting and self-defense due to its accuracy and modularity. The National Shooting Sports Foundation estimates there are roughly 5 million to 10 million AR-15 rifles owned in the U.S.

The Senate on Monday voted down four separate gun measures put forth by Democrats and Republicans to improve the nation’s background check system and prevent suspected terrorists from purchasing guns.

Ms. Shaheen called the gridlock “shameful.”

“After Aurora, Newtown, Charleston, San Bernardino, and so many other mass shootings, the Senate failed to act to protect Americans from gun violence,” she said in a statement. “It’s shameful that in the wake of the deadliest shooting in our nation’s history in Orlando, the Senate still can’t take modest action to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists and tighten background checks. This is a stain on our democracy. The American people are desperate for real action from Congress to address the scourge of mass shootings in our country. On average, there’s one mass shooting a day in this country, but we cannot accept this as the new normal. I will continue to urge Congress to take decisive action to protect the American people from the next deranged and hateful individual who wants to indiscriminately take human life.”

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