Gun-control bill gains some Oregon lawmakers' support

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PORTLAND — Oregon gun-control advocates have gained support among Oregon state lawmakers after calling for a ban on semi-automatic weapons on the same day as the Connecticut school massacre.

Members of a gun-control group circulated through the state Capitol on Friday and gained 12 co-sponsors of a bill that would ban semi-automatic rifles classified as assault weapons, according to The Oregonian.

Lawmakers who signed on are Democrats and all but one are from Portland or its inner suburbs.

Ceasefire Oregon began planning for the effort following the shootings at Clackamas Town Center, during which a gunman killed two people Tuesday and then himself.

But the group says Friday's action was prompted by the mass shootings Friday in Newtown, Conn., where 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, then stormed the Sandy Hook Elementary School and fatally shot 20 children — none older than 7 — and six adults before killing himself.

"All of our work today was conducted under a shadow of shock and profound sorrow as news of the Newtown massacre began to filter in to the legislative offices," the group said in a press release.

Ceasefire Oregon said the group wants to "ban the sale of military-style assault weapons — weapons whose only purpose is to kill as many people as possible very quickly."

Seven states currently have such laws on the books. A federal law existed from 1994 until Congress let it expire in 2004.

Gun-rights advocates say bans on assault weapons chiefly judge guns on cosmetic grounds and aren't successful in reducing violence.