Crime

Democratic Lawmakers Make Moves to Ban Assault Weapons

Despite lack of public support for stricter laws

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WASHINGTON — Democrats say meaningful action in the wake of the school shootings in Connecticut must include a ban on military-style assault weapons and a look at how the nation deals with individuals suffering from serious mental illness.

Several Democratic lawmakers and Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman said it was time to take a deeper look into the recent spate of mass shootings and what can be done to prevent them. Gun control was a hot topic in the early 1990s, when Congress enacted a 10-year ban on assault weapons. But since that ban expired in 2004, few Americans have wanted stricter laws and politicians say they don't want to become targets of a powerful gun-rights lobby.