By Barbara Grijalva - email
Tucson, AZ (KOLD) - On the one-month anniversary of the mass shooting in Tucson, the fiancee and parents of one of the victims killed January 8th are speaking out about gun violence in hopes of preventing a future tragedy.
While there are bills in the Arizona legislature to loosen the state's gun laws, there also is a bill to tighten at least one aspect of gun ownership, and that's to limit the number of bullets a gun magazine can hold.
Investigators say accused gunman Jared Loughner used a high-capacity magazine, containing 33 bullets.
Witnesses tackled him as he tried to reload.
The bill's sponsor, Democratic Tucson Representative Steve Farley, said, "This bill would not have stopped this incident. I have no illusions that it would have, but if he had stopped to reload after 10 bullets instead of 31, we could have saved lives."
A month after the Tucson shootings several people from southern Arizona came together in Phoenix to show support for Farley's bill, House Bill 2711.
They include the parents and fiancee of one of the victims, Gabe Zimmerman.
At a news conference in Phoenix, Zimmerman's fiancee Kelly O'Brien said, "One month ago today my life was changed forever."
Zimmerman was one of the six people killed in the shooting that wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
O'Brien said, "The man who killed Gabe and five other people fired 31shots in 15 seconds. That's two shots every second. He stopped only when his high-capacity magazine ran out of bullets."
That's when people knocked down the alleged shooter and disarmed him.
Farley's bill would ban an ammunition clip that can hold more than 10 rounds.
He said Congress is considering a similar bill.
"As an Arizonan, I support the Second Amendment and I believe that law-abiding citizens should have the right to carry guns. I also believe in common sense," Farley said.@
He said there are options to try to prevent the damage a criminal can cause.
"One of those options is limiting the damage the killer is capable of, including giving bystanders a chance to take him down by causing him to have to stop to reload," Farley said.
A representative from the Pima County Attorney's office also was on hand in support of ban on high-capacity ammo clips.
Deputy Pima County Attorney Kathleen Mayer said, "This is a very reasonable method to achieve what we believe would be a life-saving method for our citizens in our state."
There are many opponents of the bill as well.
They include Tucson Republican Representative Vic Williams, who said, "I just feel it's a very ineffective bill. It's something I wouldn't support. You know, if you put these type of bans in place, basically what you do, you've just ensured only the bad guys have these types of clips, and so forth."
Even the bill's supporters admit it could be an uphill battle to get it passed.
Opponents are sure it will be impossible.
"It's a personal liberties type issue. I don't think it's a bill that's going to go anywhere, especially in this state," Williams said.
HB 2711 has not yet been assigned to a committee in the Arizona House, so it still has a long way to go.
Farley said people who already own the clips would be able to keep them.
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