Rep. McCarthy: Lax American gun laws helped arm Norwegian shooter

Lax U.S. gun laws helped a Norwegian man pull off the deadliest attack in that country since World War II, a House Democrat charged Thursday.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) said Anders Behring Breivik — the suspect in last week's shooting rampage outside Oslo that left 68 dead — exploited weak American weapons laws to arm himself for the attack.

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"The easy availability of high-capacity ammo magazines in the U.S. has once again helped enable a large-scale massacre," McCarthy said in a statement.

Breivik left behind a 1,518-page manifesto providing some glimpse into what motivated his alleged attacks. Portions of the manifesto detail Breivik's gun and ammunition purchases, including a passage describing his mail-order purchase of 30-round ammunition magazines from an unnamed U.S. supplier, McCarthy noted.

“10 x 30 round magazines — .223 cal at 34 USD per mag," Breivik wrote. "Had to buy through a smaller U.S. supplier (who again ordered from other suppliers) as most suppliers have export limitations … Total cost: 550 USD.”

In another passage, Breivik hammers Norway's gun laws, which bar purchase of assault weapons like the AR-15 — a semiautomatic rifle readily available in the U.S.

“I have now sent an application for a Ruger Mini 14 semi-automatic rifle (5.56)," Breivik wrote. "It is the most 'army like' rifle allowed in Norway, although it is considered a ‘poor man’s’ AR-15.

"I envy our European American brothers as the gun laws in Europe sucks [expletive] in comparison,” he added.

"This is another tragic example of our lack of common-sense gun laws failing us with deadly consequences, allowing a cold-blooded killer to easily acquire the tools of mass murder even from another country," said McCarthy, whose husband was killed and son seriously injured in a 1993 shooting on a Long Island commuter train.

"How many more innocent people need to die before we realize that some simple, common-sense gun safety laws in the United States could actually save lives?”

McCarthy is the author of several gun reform bills this Congress, including a proposal to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines and another requiring all gun sellers — not only licensed dealers — to perform background checks on potential buyers.

Republicans have slammed those proposals as an erosion of Second Amendment rights, leaving them little chance of moving this Congress.