Former PA Gov. Ed Rendell: Not Passing Assault Weapons Ban Was 'Act of Cowardice'

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Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell decried federal lawmakers for failing to pass a permanent ban on assault weapons, such as the one used in Friday's deadly Colorado movie theater shooting.

Rendell said it was an "act of cowardice by the Congress" not to renew the ban, which expired in 2004, and blamed lawmakers for being too "terrified" of the National Rife Association, which has lobbied against the ban, to actually do it.

"We're terrified of the NRA. We Democrats are as bad as the Republicans. Everyone is scared of the NRA," Rendell said Friday on MSNBC. "There are some things worth losing for in politics, and to be able to prevent carnage like this is worth losing for."

Rendell said there is "no reason" for people to have assault weapons.

"No hunter needs it, no citizen needs it to protect their home," he said.

The former governor also called on Congress to ban high-capacity gun clips like the one Jared Loughner used to kill six people and wound Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Ariz., last year. Rendell said today that a ban on high-capacity magazines, which can hold twice as many bullets as regular gun clips, would have saved people from "serious bodily injury" in the Tucson shooting.

"We need leadership and we need someone to stand up and say, Enough is enough," Rendell said.

Read More About The Colorado Shooting HERE

Full Transcript:

RENDELL: We're terrified of the NRA. We Democrats are as bad as the Republicans. Everyone is scared of the NRA. Number one, there are some things worth losing for in politics and to be able to prevent carnage like this is worth losing for.

What the Congress ought to do, again, I apologize for talking about this in the wake of all this, but it is important. The Congress should reinstate the assault weapons ban. Number one, no citizen should be allowed to have an assault rifle. That's clear. There's no reason. No hunter needs it, no citizen needs it to protect their home.

Citizens are allowed to have firearms, shotguns, no assault weapons.

Number two, we ought to limit the number of bullets that are allowed to be sold in a clip that goes into an automatic or semi-automatic weapon. Had we done that in Loughner's case, people would have been saved from serious bodily injury. We need leadership and we need someone to stand up and say, Enough is enough.

Again, I agree with Dan Gross. We don't know where the guns came from but it doesn't matter where the assault rife came from. Citizens shouldn't have assault rifles.

MSNBC HOST ALEX WAGNER: To your point, the assault weapons ban of course expired in 2004, was not renewed.

RENDELL: An act of cowardice by the Congress

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