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Norway massacre spurs calls for new U.S. gun laws

Anders Behring Breivik
Norway terror attack suspect Anders Behring Breivik, left, sits in an armored police vehicle following a hearing in Oslo July 25, 2011 where he pleaded not guilty to one of the deadliest modern mass killings in peacetime. AP

Anti-gun violence activists in the U.S. are renewing their push for new gun laws in the wake of the revelation that the alleged Norway shooter claims to have purchased high-capacity ammunition magazines from a United States retailer.

Anders Behring Breivik, the alleged lone-wolf terrorist accused of shooting and killing 68 people at a youth camp in Norway and killing eight in an Oslo bombing last week, details purchasing the ammunition in his 1,500-page manifesto.

Under the section titled, "December and January - Rifle/gun accessories purchased," Breivik wrote that he purchased 10 30-round ammunition magazines from a U.S. supplier who mailed the devices to him.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., said the detail should give new urgency to her bill to prohibit the sale and transfer of high-capacity ammunition magazines.

"The easy availability of high-capacity ammo magazines in the U.S. has once again helped enable a large-scale massacre, this time with a shocking 68 people killed," McCarthy said in a statement. " How many more innocent people need to die before we realize that some simple, commonsense gun safety laws in the United States could actually save lives?"

High-capacity magazines became available for purchase in the U.S. when the federal assault weapons ban expired in 2004. McCarthy has repeatedly introduced legislation to bar the sales of the ammunition and re-introduced the bill this year in the wake of the Tucson shooting that killed six and injured 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.

Special report: Massacre in Norway

In his manifesto, Breivik talks of his attempts to legally buy weapons and writes, "I envy our European American brothers as the gun laws in Europe sucks ass in comparison."

Other anti-gun violence activists agreed that Breivik's claims strengthen the case for McCarthy's bill. "From Arizona to Norway, America's shamefully weak gun laws are costing innocent lives," Dennis Henigan, the acting president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said in a statement.

Kristen Rand, the legislative director for Violence Policy Center, added: "America's militarized gun industry is now in the business of exporting U.S.-style gun violence."

At his arraignment on Monday, Breivik took responsibility for the shooting and the Olso bombing but pleaded not guilty because he thinks he's in state of war, his defense lawyer Geir Lippestad said.