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Orlando attack reignites gun control debate

Posted at 7:32 PM, Jun 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-13 19:32:37-04

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.-- The mass shooting in Orlando over the weekend renewed calls by Democrats for stricter gun control for semiautomatic weapons. Police say one of the guns used by Omar Mateen to kill dozens of people at an Orlando nightclub was an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle. 

"There's no need for a high-capacity weapon such as that," said Yudy Barbera, chair of the Democratic Party of Collier County. "That weapon is only intended to kill a lot of people. So why would anybody need that type of weapon in this country?"

"The knee-jerk reaction from everyone is to, of course, go after firearms," said Taylor Lee, manager of The Alamo Gun Range in Naples. He doesn't believe that so-called "assault rifles" like the AR-15 should be banned.

"The term 'assault rifle' doesn't really exist," Lee said. "That has been created as sort of a general moniker to describe a semiautomatic rifle."

He said that the AR platform firearms were initially developed as a battle rifle for the U.S. military, but:

"The modern sporting rifles that you see out there are certainly not designed and meant to be anti-personnel rifles," Lee said.

Barbera hopes for more extensive background checks for firearm purchases in all states.

"Sadly, this is becoming the norm, and it should not be," she said.

Hillary Clinton renewed her call Monday for a ban on weapons such as the AR-15. Donald Trump, who says he opposes new limits on buying guns, argues that Omar Mateen could have been taken down sooner if some people at the nightclub had been armed themselves.