Ellen Davis, a Phoenix-area lawyer and mother, has more than 80,000 signatures on an Internet petition to reinstate the 1994 federal ban on assault weapons that expired in 2004, says the Arizona Republic. She was shocked at reports that James Holmes used an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle with a 100-round drum magazine in a Colorado theater last month. "I'm tired of being silent. Too many have died," Davis said.
A Gallup poll last year found 43 percent of Americans in favor of the assault-weapons ban and 53 percent opposed. Daniel Vice of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence said Davis' petition is part of a building movement that is similar to the outcry that led to the ban during the Clinton administration. A sign that this isn't a quick-fading national mood is the gun-control questions being asked of both presidential campaigns, he said. Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, described the 1994 ban as a "feel-good nothing" law that was based on a gun's appearance instead of actual criteria such as caliber. Constitutional issues aside, a stricter ban would be impractical, Gottlieb said. The AR-15 and the handgun used in the Tucson-area shooting are popular, he said. Plus, Congress is more pro-gun now than in the 1990s, he said. "It's just not going to happen," Gottlieb said.