Connecticut school shooting

Bullet magazines Newtown shooter used were almost banned

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 April, 2016, 12:53pm

The high-capacity magazines that fed bullets into the rifle used to kill 26 children and adults at an American school in the state of Connecticut would have been banned under state legislation that the National Rifle Association (NRA) and gun makers successfully fought.

The shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Adam Lanza, 20, used a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle with magazines containing 30 rounds as his main weapon, said Connecticut state police Lieutenant Paul Vance.

A proposal in March last year would have made it a felony to possess magazines with more than 10 bullets and required owners to surrender them to law enforcement or remove them from the state. Opponents sent more than 30,000 e-mails and letters to state lawmakers as part of a campaign organised by the NRA and other gun advocates, said Robert Crook, head of the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, which opposed the legislation.

"The legislators got swamped by NRA e-mails," said Betty Gallo, who lobbied for the legislation on behalf of the group Connecticut Against Gun Violence. "They were scared of the NRA and the political backlash." Proponents abandoned the legislation, which drew opposition from gun makers. More than 300 pro-gun activists attended a committee hearing to oppose it, Gallo added.