POLITICS

Sen. Pat Toomey Won't Back Banning Assault Weapons Because They're 'Extremely Popular'

The Pennsylvania senator told Fox News that banning the military-style weapons would infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens.

Sen. Pat Toomey’s reasoning for not banning military-style weapons is apparently the same one high school students use to pick a prom queen in high school: popularity.

On Monday, the Pennsylvania senator said he supported expanding background checks but rejected the idea of a ban on assault weapons or restrictions on magazine size.

Toomey explained his reasoning to Fox News host Sandra Smith on Tuesday: The weapons are simply too popular.

“They are extremely popular, so to ban an extremely popular firearm, I’m not going to support that, that would be an infringement on the rights of law-abiding citizens,” he said.

Toomey initially claimed that guns “described as assault weapons are almost invariably no more powerful than regular hunting rifles.”

“They’ve got features that an ordinary hunting rifle doesn’t have, but they’re no more lethal,” he said, ignoring Smith’s interjection about magazine size.

In a press conference after the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, that killed nine people this weekend, Police Chief Richard Biehl said that if the shooter’s bullet magazines were completely full, he would have had a maximum of 250 rounds on him at the time of the attack. “To have that level of weaponry in a civilian environment, unregulated, is problematic,” Biehl said.

And despite Toomey’s claim about the popularity of assault weapons, no one knows exactly how many people in the U.S. own them. The government isn’t allowed to collect that info and put it in a modern, searchable electronic database.

You can watch Toomey’s interview below:

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