MILWAUKEE -- It may surprise you to learn how many assault rifles are found in the city of Milwaukee. On Thursday, December 20th, the people who found those weapons showed them off in a grim display.
Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn displayed a few of more than 10,000 guns police seized in the past four years. It includes an AR-15 similar to the one used in the mass shooting which killed 20 children in Newtown, Connecticut.
In the past two years in Milwaukee, Chief Flynn says 28 children younger than 13 have been shot.
"Mass murder may never be a curable event. Gun violence in America may not be curable events. But we can make it harder to commit mass murder," said Flynn.
To do that, Chief Flynn and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett say they want mandatory criminal checks on all gun sales, not only those done through dealers. They want to ban the sale of military-style weapons with high-capacity magazines. They also want state laws to crack down on those who buy guns and give them to felons -- and ban the internet sale of ammunition.
State Representative Jon Richards says he will introduce legislation for mandatory background checks for all who want to buy guns.
"I hope the halls of the Capitol have room for a bipartisan discussion of what we have to do next," said Richards.
The pro-gun movement says banning the sale of assault weapons would do little.
"What they call assault rifles are merely semi-automatic rifles and they've been around since the late 1800s. Even in high-capacity versions, they are the most popular rifles in the community, not only for competitive shooting but for hunting," said James Fendry.
Flynn, Barrett and Richards say they want more restrictive gun laws passed at the national level as well.