Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said Tuesday he would like the loopholes in the nation's background check system for firearm purchases to be closed, but he does not support banning either assault rifles or high-capacity magazines.
"Guns that are described as assault weapons are almost invariably no more powerful than ordinary hunting rifles," Sen. Toomey told Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "They look different, they're painted black, they have features that an ordinary hunting rifle doesn't have, but they're no more lethal."
Banning the weapons, he added, "would be an infringement on the rights of law-abiding citizens" such as himself.
"What we ought to focus on is keeping them out of the hands of violent criminals and those who are dangerously mentally ill," the senator said. "Those are the people that are committing these massacres."
Toomey instead wants to propose a bill first presented in 2013 to strengthen background checks, and he thinks more of his Republican colleagues would now support it than did six years ago.
The senator also said he thinks the Senate should consider "red flag" legislation, saying he is supporting a separate bill with Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., that would further enforce current gun sales laws.
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