Congresswoman Terri Sewell Comments On New Gun Legislation


By Ashley Thompson

Congresswoman Terri Sewell met with members of her district to discuss key issues going before Congress this year. CBS 8's Ashley Thompson caught up with her to get her stance on new proposed gun legislation.

Earlier this month, President Obama unveiled a gun-control plan that he feels will curb gun-related violence. But the debate rages on as lawmakers in Washington continue to fight for and against stricter legislation.

Included in the plan is a ban on military style assault rifles and mandatory universal background checks on all gun purchases. But the news of stricter gun legislation isn't sitting right with everyone. Some people, especially here in Alabama, believe the President's plan infringes on the Constitution. Congresswoman Terri Sewell says that may not be the case.

"I'm a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment but in light of the events in Newtown and Aurora and others, I think that we should look at sensible, common sense reform," she says.

Sewell is a Democrat and has supported many of President Obama's policies. However growing up in Selma, she says she understands how some Alabamians feel about their guns.

"I'm very proud of the fact that my district has a lot of hunting lodges and it's a very big source of income and so I have to balance both the needs of my district as well as the overall needs of this nation," she explains.

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange says although hunting is popular in our state, he doesn't believe the sport requires assault rifles.

"How many times do you hunt or fish with a hundred-round automatic weapon? We've got to come up with some sensible, compromise here," he says. "I'm a Second Amendment person, I have my own personal weapon. We do have a right to bear arms but at the same time, weapons of mass destruction really do not have a place in our society." 

Although some don't believe guns are the problem, Ed Nettles of Montgomery's 'Enough is Enough' stop-the-violence campaign says he believes they are when in the hands of a dangerous person.

"I understand that guns don't kill people, people do. But people who are misguided with wrong intentions, those are deadly weapons in their hands," he says.

Mayor Strange told us since the Montgomery Police Department started its' illegal gun initiative earlier this month, almost 100 illegal guns have been taken off the streets.

Terri Sewell says in this legislative period she also looks forward to working on small business tax reform and financial literacy.