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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky Third District Congressman John Yarmuth is speaking out on gun violence days after the mass shootings at a Connecticut elementary school.
He appeared at an event Monday at Wayside Christian Mission, handing out Christmas cards to the homeless. Yarmuth said that he had been silent for too long on the issue of gun control, and that he would work to reinstate the ban on assault weapons.
"I strongly support the re-institution of an assault weapons ban," Yarmuth told a news conference at the Wayside Christian Mission in Louisville Monday morning, "I intend to co-sponsor legislation to that effect."
Yarmuth believes Friday's shootings will be the tipping point for getting more political support for changes to gun laws. And he says lawmakers need to step up and ignore what he called the wrath of the National Rifle Association.
"The NRA and other gun rights advocacy groups are not wrong about everything in this issue," Yarmuth said. "I don't believe they are wrong. But they have never been willing to participate in addressing reasonable approaches to gun violence. They've never been able to sit down at the table. That is what I think the president needs to do."
Yarmuth said this morning his local office has received hundreds of calls from people urging him to do something about the issue. He calls it a massive public outcry.
"I can understand what he (Yarmuth) is saying about assault rifles," says Jeff Stein, the owner of Stewart's Pawn Shop, "I can see where there could be a ban on those kinds of weapons, but when it comes to handguns and revolvers I really don't see the effect on that because people buy those more for security."
Stein says following mass shootings like the one in Connecticut on Friday his gun sales actually increase.
"I think you'll see more people in the next couple of weeks just buying handguns for their own security and peace of mind," says Stein.