Jansing and Co | February 05, 2013
>> the governor will now have to convince skeptical state lawmakers to back the plan that he himself criticized just months ago.
>>> in the first sign of bipartisan cooperation on gun control in the house, a group of former democratic and republican lawmakers will unveil a bill today that would make gun trafficking a federal crime .
>> we keep hearing folks say they want -- everybody agrees, criminals should not have guns. well, this is a way to make sure that does not happen.
>> the bill mirrors a bipartisan senate proposal unveiled last week as well as legislative proposals that were recently introduced by the president. joining me now, longtime new york congressman, charles rangel . always good to see you, congressman. good morning.
>> good to be with you, chris .
>> the gun trafficking prevention act of 2013 would impose new penalties against what they call straw purchasers, people who knowingly buy firearms for convicted criminals who are barred from buying their own weapons. what are the chances of this passing?
>> i think that's excellent. there's so many pieces of this bill that we do need. it has to be comprehensive. but the whole idea that someone has a criminal intent when they're transferring a firearm to somebody that can't get a firearm, i think that's going to be one of the easiest things to get over.
>> so that's an easy one. president obama kicked off his gun control campaign in minneapolis, where he also stressed the need for universal background checks . congressman ringal voiced concerns over that bill.
>> if we're going to move some type of universal legislation, connecting gun owners with the guns themselves and the database and all that, i'm going to have some problems with that.
>> a recent poll found, and i'm sure you've seen these numbers, an overwhelming number of americans , 92%, favor expanding background checks , but you hear that there are congressmen who are against it. the nra has been very vocal in its opposition. what are the chances that gets done?
>> i think it's very good, because of the nature of what we're talking about. we're talking about a very dangerous weapon , far more serious than getting a car licensed for a dangerous weapon , as sometimes automobiles and trucks are called. so i think that some people don't mind the inconvenience, if you will, if someone wants to have a firearm, put your name down and say who you are and make certain that we at least are prohibiting or preventing or at least trying to prevent people who have mental illness from getting a dangerous weapon . i don't think that's going to be the problem. we're going to have major problems with the culture of people that just like to use gun for recreational purposes and overcoming the need for having an assault weapon to do this, to have phone numbfun and to hunt animals. that's going to be a major problem. but the two that you mentioned, chris . we can get over that, whether we're talking about inner cities or whether we're talking about our rural and suburban areas. i think we're coming together on common agreement.
>> well, let's talk a little more about the push for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. here's what the president had to say about that.
>> we should restore the ban on military-style assault weapons and ten-round limit for magazines. and that deserves a vote in congress, because weapons of war have no place on our streets or in our schools or threatening our law enforcement officers .
>> and in fact, over on the senate side, harry reid has said the same thing, even though he has not given it overwhelming support to these ideas. he said they deserve an up and down vote. is that going to happen? and do you give any chance on passing the assault weapons ban or the limit on the size of magazines?
>> i have to be optimistic. there's a thing about being attached to a weapon that automatically is firing and it has nothing to do with sportsmanship. i have been in combat. i have had automatic weapons . sometimes the weapon almost takes you over with the rapid fire that's involved here. it has nothing to do with killing animals, if that's what people want to do. it has nothing to do with sportsmanship. and being able to have these clips that are over ten rounds, you tell me, what fun is it going to be, because people have to change clips. we know why we're doing it. we know a number of people are killed in the process of having to change clips. and so i think that even though there may be an attachment to the automatic feeling of having a weapon, common sense will dictate that there's no need for americans to have that in order to have fun.
>> that does seem to be the president's approach. i mean, he has had some success in getting out there and doing these campaign-style trips, where he goes out and makes his case to the american people . but there is such strong opposition, as you say, by people who like to use guns for support. and, of course, by the nra , and there's been a lot of debate about whether their influence has waned. they certainly show no signs of backing off. how much can the president influence this debate, congressman?
>> he can. he can, because a lot of us that have never gone hunting a deeper respect now for people who enjoy this as a sport. and going out to the american people , it's the only way to break down this logjam that we have with party unity. it's time that america put our country above party politics and break out of this line, if that's what the leader wants. so the president is going, saying, do you want to preserve the safety of americans , democrats, and republicans or do you want to follow the nra , where clearly they're in the business of selling guns and making profits. i think the president's doing a magnificent job. and he's going to have to continue.
>> new york congressman charles rangel , always a pleasure to have you on the program. thank you.
>> thank you, chris .