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Menendez Pushes Legislation Limiting Magazine Size For Guns To 10 Rounds

MONTCLAIR, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - Responding to the recent wave of mass shootings, political leaders and gun safety advocates got together Wednesday to call for Congress to act.

They want a Senate vote on what they call common sense gun safety measures.

New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez is proposing a bill limiting magazine size.

As children are preparing to go back to school, local leaders in New Jersey say they want kids to be able to focus on math and recess, not where to hide in case of a mass shooter.

Watch: Sen. Bob Menendez On Limiting Gun Magazine Size

Menendez and others are calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the Keep Americans Safe Act up for a vote. So far, the Republican has refused. CBS2 reached out to McConnell's office for reaction but have not heard back.

The bill has 30 Senate co-sponsors and would prohibit the transfer, importation or possession of gun magazines able to hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

"The Keep Americans Safe Act would limit the sale of ammunition to no more than 10 rounds, because a magazine that holds 30, 60 or 90 rounds of ammunition is not for hunting, it is not for self defense or protecting your home. High capacity magazines are designed for one thing and one thing only: High capacity killing," Menendez said. "To be clear: Limiting magazine size isn't just about the mass shootings that make the news. These high capacity clips are often used in the daily gun violence that terrorizes neighborhoods across America every day."

Menendez said McConnell has take over $1 million from the NRA.

"How many more acts of mass murder will it take for leader McConnell to put American lives ahead of profits," Menendez said.

High capacity magazines have been used in most of the nation's high-profile mass shootings, including recently in Dayton, Ohio, when the shooter used a rifle equipped with a 100-round drum magazine. He fired 41 shots in 30 seconds, killing nine people.

The House has already passed universal background checks and plans to advance several pieces of legislation, including a ban on high capacity magazines.

"It's been almost 200 days since the House passed universal background check legislation on Feb. 27 of this year. Since then, there have been 243 mass shootings in this country," said Rep. Mikie Sherrill.

The NRA is against any limitations on gun sales. The organization has said it believes in a free market economy and owning a gun and purchasing ammunition is one of America's fundamental freedoms.

The sheriff says Essex County seized more than 700 illegal guns last year, and that is in a state with some of the strictest gun laws. The weapons come in from neighboring states.

According to a recent Quinnipiac University poll, nearly three out of four Americans believe the Senate should act to stop gun violence. The same poll found:

  • 93 - 6 percent support for universal background checks;
  • 82 - 16 percent support for requiring a license to purchase a gun;
  • 80 - 15 percent support for a "red flag" law;
  • 60 - 36 percent support for a ban on assault weapons;
  • 46 - 49 percent on a mandatory buyback of assault weapons

A criminal justice expert told Baker gun laws are very hard to pass at the federal level because of the politics involved. He said the best way to prevent mass shooting is through early behavior detection, because someone who is set on mass murder will find a way around the system to get a gun.

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