ROSEMONT, Ill. (CBS) — Creating gun laws is one thing, but convincing people to support them is something else. That was the job of Vice President Joe Biden on Friday, when he held a roundtable discussion on gun control in Virginia.
CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports new laws could be tough to sell at gun shows, like one held in suburban Rosemont on Friday. Organizers said it was the first gun show in Cook County in as many as 50 years.
Gun shows have come under increased scrutiny since the school shooting massacre in Newtown, Conn., because in the vast majority of states, gun sales at such shows are largely unregulated.
“What will it take to move this nation when it comes to sensible gun laws? What will it take to move Congress when it comes to sensible gun laws? It took Newtown, Connecticut,” U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said.
Durbin reintroduced legislation designed to prohibit the sale of 157 military-style assault weapons.
“People don’t use assault weapons with 30- or 100-round magazines to go hunting, and they sure don’t use them for self-defense,” Durbin said.
David Lombardo, head of the gun rights group Safer USA, and the host of the “On Target Radio” show said Durbin has it wrong about assault weapons, beginning at the most basic level.
“They call them assault weapons, but there is actually no such real term. It’s a made-up term,” he said. “What you’re looking at is you’re looking at semi-automatic firearms that are used for sporting purposes.”
But Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said real sportsmen have no need for such tremendous firepower.
“Military grade weapons do not belong in the hands of hunters, sportsmen, collectors, or anybody else,” he said.”
Lombardo, a Vietnam veteran, said the guns in question are not military grade firearms.
“They look like a military-type firearm, but they’re not,” he said.
In the wake of Newtown, Chicagoland Gun and Outdoor Sports Show director Marc Levine said he welcomes and expects more rigorous checks at his shows.
“We have become more sensitive to the bigger issue of gun safety,” he said.
Organizers of the gun show in Rosemont said there were no guns for sale at the event, because it was more about education. But Illinois is one of only seven states that require buyers at gun shows first submit to background checks.