Sen. Chris Murphy got a first hand look at the power of a semi-automatic assault rifle. He visited the Connecticut State Police gun range in Simsbury Friday morning.
Sgt. Shawn Corey fired a .223 caliber rifle, similar to the one used in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.
"It's scary to watch how fast a .223 can dispense 30 rounds of ammunition," Sen. Murphy said. "I'm glad I saw it first hand but it gives you shivers to think that we allow for that kind of weapons to be in the hands of mad men."
Sgt. Corey was able to shoot 30 rounds in about 15 seconds.
"That's a very scary thing to think about a .223 with that kind of fire power in the hands of somebody like Adam Lanza in an elementary school," Sen. Murphy said.
Murphy was among several U.S. Senators to introduce the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013. He is calling for a ban on assault weapons, large capacity magazines and he wants comprehensive background checks.
He said his colleagues on Capitol Hill should not fear the National Rifle Association.
"I'm just trying to make the case that they should be able to do the right thing without feeling the political repercussions of the NRA," Murphy said.
But a ban on assault weapons will be an uphill fight on both the federal and state levels.
"Banning these AR-15's and other firearms are not going to do anything," Robert Crook, of the Coalition of Connecticut Sportsmen, said.
Gun rights groups say weapons like the AR-15 serve a purpose for responsible gun owners.
"The so-called assault weapons are the modern rifles of today in society," Crook said. "They're used in target shooting, hunting and home defense."