Former GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich spoke on CBS News “Face the Nation” on Sunday about a new legislation introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) last week, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
Gingrich, who is a former Georgia congressman and served as U.S. Speaker of the House, disagrees with the plan, as he told “Face the Nation” host Bob Schieffer.
“As New York commissioner said, the overwhelming problem for him is handguns, assault weapons are about two percent,” said Gingrich. “But I also think the term ‘assault weapon’ is propaganda. Any true military weapon is illegal, has been illegal since 1934. If somebody is using an AK- 47, they’re using an illegal weapon, because it’s an automatic weapon. We do not allow people to buy automatic weapons unless they have a very strict collector’s license. That has been true now for almost 80 years.”
Gingrich added that most high profile shootings, such as the Virginia Tech massacre or the President John F. Kennedy assassination were conducted without the use of automatic weapons. In addition, most of gun violence in America is carried out without the use of assault weapons.
Gingrich also spoke about background checks, and pointed out that they are already mandatory, even at gun shows. The problem is, according to the Speaker, that even when the background checks uncover problems, the perpetrators are not persecuted.
“We ought to have the courage to look at facts, not created propaganda,” he said. “We have background checks now, I think there are substantial number of felons who have actually applied to buy a gun, the Obama administration, to the best of my knowledge, has prosecuted virtually none of them.”
A convicted felon is legally banned from applying for any weapon.
Gingrich concluded that Feinstein’s bill takes care of the wrong issues and will not curb gun violence across the nation.
“What I’m fascinated with is this perennial desire to make the innocent have a more complicated life because of the handful who are the guilty, rather than focusing on the guilty,” he said.