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Local Rep. Sponsors Assault Weapon Ban Legislation

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- In the wake of Newtown, there is talk of an assault-style weapon ban in congress -- and now one in Pennsylvania.

"There will be a new assault weapons ban introduced in the state of Pennsylvania that is comprehensive, that will deal with a broad definition of assault weapons and deals with high capacity magazines," Rep. Dan Frankel said.

Frankel of Squirrel Hill has sponsored similar bills that have gone nowhere. But he says Newtown has changed the debate as NRA supporters like senators Bob Casey and Joe Manchin are now open to the idea of a federal ban.

"I think the fact that they are willing to discuss some reasonable gun laws in this country tells us that the dynamic has changed in this state and in this country," Frankel said.

"If they want to curtail the buying sales, they're pushing the sale," George Romanoff with Ace Sporting Goods said.

But at Ace Sporting Goods in Washington County, gun owners and buyers vigorously oppose such a ban and are voting with their wallets.

They've snatched up all the semi-automatic rifles in stock for fear they'll be banned.

"There has been a lot of panic buying on the AR 15 platform rifles and AK 47s and now it's extended over to handguns," Romanoff said.

Romanoff calls a weapons ban misguided.

"It's very misguided," he said. "The real problem is with mentally ill people."

Frankel says the ban should be part of a comprehensive policy that will eventually reduce the number of semi-automatic rifles in the state and throughout the country.

But at Ace, talk of a weapons ban continues to have the opposite effect, sales have never been better.

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