State senator to introduce bill limiting gun magazines to 10 rounds

State senator to introduce bill limiting gun magazines to 10 rounds
FILE - Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, smiles during the Senate Rules Committee hearing Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012, at the capitol, in Salem, Ore. (AP File Photo/Rick Bowmer)

PORTLAND, Ore. – The day after the fatal shooting rampage by a lone gunman at a local mall Tuesday, Oregon state Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, said she’ll introduce a bill next legislative session to limit gun magazines to 10 rounds.

Burdick sent an email to her fellow lawmakers Wednesday morning urging them to support her legislation after police said 22-year-old Jacob Tyler Roberts entered the Clackamas Town Center Tuesday afternoon with an AR-15 and opened fire, killing 45-year-old Steve Forsyth and 54-year-old Cindy Yuille. Kristina Shevchenko, 15, was badly wounded and was still in the hospital Wednesday in serious condition.

Police said Roberts then shot himself dead.

In her email to lawmakers, Burdick argued large capacity magazines can increase the number of people killed when someone opens fire in a crowded public place.

She also took her argument to the airwaves during a morning radio appearance.

"If you look at the mass shootings that we've had in this country, the shooter eventually is brought down when they have to change clips," she said on KEX's "Mark and Dave" show. "To have a 50-round clip, which is not that unusual, allows you to shoot potentially 50 people before you have to change clips."

She said fears that her bill would begin to erode the rights of Oregonians to own guns are unwarranted.

"I don't have that fear because Oregon is over 50 percent gun ownership, and so we're not going to do anything in Oregon that doesn't pass muster with a good majority of gun owners," she said.

She also noted that there are already laws against having more than 5-round magazines for hunters.

But Kevin Starrett with Oregon Firearms Federation said it can be expected that Burdick will introduce a whole host of bills next session that will work to limit gun owner rights, including one that will prohibit concealed handgun license holders of carrying their weapons where school children are. And he said Burdick was using the shooting as a marketing tool to push her bill.

"The introduction or publication of this bill by Burdick today is nothing more than a really repellent, shameful marketing attempt based on a tragedy that happened that Burdick wants to exploit," he said.

Starrett said limiting magazines to 10 rounds is meaningless and arbitrary and added it would be impossible to track the sale and transfer of large capacity gun magazines (which Burdick's bill would ban) because they don’t have serial numbers. Additionally, there are millions of them already in existence, he said.

"It's not up to the state to tell free American citizens what they may or may not be allowed to own," he said.