Schakowsky: Paris Attacks Show Need for More Gun Control

November 18, 2015

During a radio interview Monday, Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky (Ill.) said the terrorist attacks on Paris show the need for more gun control in America.

When asked by Tim Farley on SiriusXM's The Morning Briefing about her thoughts on the attacks, Schakowsky said they should serve to remind Americans of the need for stricter gun laws.

"No, uh, obviously it is frightening for every western country, but I do want to remind you, before we killed a jihadist named Awlaki, he did a video that said to Americans, ‘join the jihad and get guns, because it’s so easy in the United States of America to get a weapon,’" she said in audio first reported by Buzzfeed. "And that ought to be a chilling reminder because aside from blowing themselves up, which is, uh, of course, not about small weapons, these people used the kinds of weapons that are still available in the United States of America."

"And I think it ought to cause us to have another consideration of sensible gun safety laws."

Schakowsky cited Anwar al-Awlaki, however, it was Adam Gadahn who made the comments she referenced.

"America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms," Gadahn said in a 2013 al Qaeda propaganda video. "You can go down to a gun show at the local convention center and come away with a fully automatic assault rifle, without a background check, and most likely without having to show an identification card. So what are you waiting for?"

However, the weapons that Gadahn referenced, and that the Paris attackers used, are not readily available in the United States. Fully automatic firearms have been heavily regulated in America since the National Firearms Act of 1934 was passed, and new sales of fully automatic firearms to civilians have been outlawed since 1986. The legally owned automatic firearms which predate the ban generally sell for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, relegating them to collector items. They are rarely used in crime.

Despite strict gun control laws illegal guns, including fully automatic AK-47s like those used in Paris, are widely available in the European Union according to a government report. "You can find Kalashnikovs for sale near the train station in Brussels," a European Union official told the Washington Post earlier this year. "They’re available even to very average criminals." There are 67 million illegal guns available on the continent, according to the report.