WASHINGTON -- House Democrats say they've seen a groundswell of support within their caucus for legislation that would prohibit the manufacturing of high-capacity magazines. At least two lawmakers are planning to push for a vote on such legislation before the year ends.
The bill backed by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) and Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) mirrors legislation that has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.). It would ban magazines for more than 10 rounds of ammunition and prohibit the transfer, possession or importation of those magazines that are manufactured after the date of the law being signed.
Similar bills have been introduced or pushed after every episode of major gun violence in the past few years -- in part because all involved high-capacity magazines -- but to no avail. Backers of the legislation, however, say there is movement in their direction following the murder of 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
"Right away we could pass ... we could pass the ban on the assault magazine," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on Tuesday. "Just to ban the magazine, the assault magazine, we could do it right now."
In an interview with The Huffington Post, DeGette said that she now has approximately 125 co-sponsors on the bill. That includes 16 lawmakers who signed up during a caucus meeting on Tuesday morning. Among them was Minority House Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) according to DeGette's office.
"We are demanding that Speaker Boehner bring it up for a vote this week. And we are looking for ways to make that vote happen," said DeGette.
"I'm not so naïve as to think that we can pass some law that will stop a deranged person from taking a gun and shooting people," the Colorado Democrat added. "What I am interested in is making it as difficult as possible for that deranged person to shoot as many people as possible."
House Speaker John Boehner's office didn't immediately return a request for comment, although in the wake of the Newtown shootings, at least one congressional Republican –- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) -- has expressed openness to the idea of limiting the size of magazines.
Likewise, on Tuesday, White House press secretary Jay Carney said that President Barack Obama supported the concept, in addition to his support for renewal of the assault weapons ban and closure of the gun-show loophole. The president had also spoken about gun control legislation on Tuesday, via phone, with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), a prominent gun rights advocate who has changed his tune post Sandy Hook. But as of now there are no specifics.
"At some point you'll hear from him more broadly on this issue, but I don't have a time frame on that," said Carney.