BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The calls for tougher gun regulations have grown louder after 59 people were killed during a mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas.
Assault-style weapons were once banned under federal law, but that law was allowed to lapse in 2004.
In the wake of the Las Vegas shooting spree, some are again calling for stricter gun control.
“This Congress has the responsibility to make sure the NRA stands for ‘not relevant anymore’ in American politics, and we have to begin this debate now,” said Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey.
But the president played down that sense of urgency.
“And we’ll be talking about gun laws as time goes by,” President Donald Trump said Tuesday.
The Vegas massacre follows others in Sandy Hook, Conn. and Orlando, Fl.
“I wish I could be surprised by this shooting, but I can’t be surprised because it just keeps happening over and over again,” said Jen Pauliukonis, president of Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence.
Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence lobbies for laws banning assault weapons in Maryland.
“And if we don’t talk about the guns and ways to prevent this, it’s going to happen again,” Pauliukonis said.
By contrast, Nevada’s gun laws are among the most lenient in the nation.
Authorities say Stephen Paddock had 23 firearms in the hotel suite, at least one was fully automatic.
ATF agents found another 19 firearms in his home, along with thousands of rounds of ammunition.
“This is a weapon and a man of mass destruction,” said one ATF spokesperson.
Former congresswoman Gabby Gifford and her husband, Mark Kelly, have been vocal supporters of tougher gun laws after she was nearly murdered in a mass shooting.
“What it takes, is for people that put these folks in office, to demand action,” Kelly said.
One of those folks is Representative Steve Scalise, who was also nearly killed in a shooting.
“Yeah, but I’m also saved by well trained people who had guns to shoot back,” Scalise said.
He returned to Congress a second amendment supporter.
“What’s important to focus on is that we have strong rights in this country and we’re protected by them,” he said.
House Republicans do have gun legislation pending, and it would legalize the sale of silencers.