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Newtown Parents Join Biden, Bloomberg Calling for Wider Gun Laws

March 21 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden joined New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and some of the families who lost 26 children and adults in the December attack on a Connecticut elementary school in demanding Congress enact stricter regulations on guns.

Biden, Bloomberg and the families of two children and a teacher killed by a gunman armed with an assault rifle called on Congress to ban sales of such weapons. They also asked for a prohibition on ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds, and to require background checks on all gun purchasers.

“They all have a positive impact on public safety,” said Biden, 70, who as a U.S. senator from Delaware sponsored an assault-weapon ban that became law in 1994 and expired a decade later. “These are common-sense approaches that the American people already think are in place.”

About 3,000 people have been killed with guns since the Dec. 14 shootings inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown that left 20 children and six adults shot dead, said Bloomberg, 71. The founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP, he is also a co-founder of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which counts more than 900 municipal chief executives among its members.

U.S. Senate Democratic leaders have dropped an assault weapons ban from proposed gun legislation. A ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines used in a number of U.S. mass shootings also faces strong opposition in Congress.

“I’m really ashamed to see Congress doesn’t have the guts to stand up and make a change,” said Neil Heslin, whose first-grader son, Jesse Lewis, died in the Newtown massacre.

To contact the reporter on this story: Henry Goldman in New York at hgoldman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net

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