NBC News correspondent Heidi Przybyla said that "real change" in the realm of gun control would involve "a ban on semi-automatic weapons" in addition to other gun control measures during an appearance on MSNBC's Deadline: White House on Tuesday.
Przybyla was discussing what it would take for gun control legislation to make its way through Congress.
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"The presidential candidates can be very strong on this and they can make a lot of promises, but what has to happen for real change, for instance, a ban on semi-automatic weapons, for a ban on high-capacity magazines, is that there also has to be a shift at the Senate level. Because even in the Senate today, you see senators like Pat Toomey, who is the co-sponsor of background check legislation, he would never support a ban on assault weapons. And so you would have to see a major wave and a major shift in the Senate to see the kind of legislative response some of these candidates are calling for," Przybyla said.
Most firearms currently available for sale in the United States are semi-automatic. The sale of fully automatic firearms was virtually banned by the Hughes Amendment in 1986. With semi-automatic firearms, one pull of the charger discharges one round of ammunition, whereas with fully automatic guns, one pull of the trigger continually discharges ammunition until the trigger is released or the ammo is depleted.
Przbyla's comments come in the wake of this past weekend's shootings in El Paso and Dayton.