Ryan campaign ad calls for assault rifle ban

Congressional candidate Pat Ryan has a new TV ad that begins airing today in which he invokes his background as an Iraq war veteran and uses jarring images of children donning military gear to call for a ban on assault rifles.

Ryan, one of seven Democrats who will compete in a June 26 primary in New York’s 19th Congressional District to challenge Republican Rep. John Faso, starts by mentioning his starting a business after his two tours of duty in Iraq to develop technology that would better protect American troops. “I’m Pat Ryan, and we were protecting them from weapons like this,” he says, holding a military-style rifle. “But these are on our streets, and in our schools, too.”

The commercial then flashes real footage of children being led in a procession with their hands on their heads, as they were after the school massacre in Parkland, Fla., in February. “If our children are going up against this, they should have the same protection we give our soldiers,” Ryan says, as the imagery switches to scenes of grim-looking children strapping on soldier’s helmets and ballistic vests, and descending school stairs in military gear. “Or we could just get rid of assault rifles. What makes more sense to you?”

Ryan, a Kingston native and West Point graduate who served 27 months in Iraq, appears to be advocating reinstating the federal assault rifle ban, which was enacted in 1994 and expired 10 years later. There have been calls to restore that prohibition after recent mass shootings in which the gunman used a semiautomatic rifle, including the one in Parkland, but Congress hasn’t taken it up.

New York State banned certain types of military-style rifles in 2000 and broadened its definition in 2013 as part of as package of gun control measures inspired by the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, in which a gunman killed 20 children and six adults.

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