Washington » Utah congressmen are taking issue with the Obama administration's call for a new assault-weapons ban, saying it interferes with the public's right to bear arms and won't reduce crime.
The ban expired in 2004 after being in place for 10 years. In a news conference Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder said: "As President [Barack] Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes that we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons."
Holder believes the ban would help curb the flow of guns into Mexico, which is seeing increased drug-cartel-related violence.
Utah Reps. Jim Matheson, a Democrat, and Rob Bishop, a Republican, are part of a 10-member task force on gun rights in the House that almost immediately promised to stand in the way of any attempts at a new ban.
"It looks as though with this announcement we've been handed our first big fight," Matheson said.
"I hope this administration doesn't feel a need to resurrect every bad idea," Bishop said. "Bringing this useless ban back is a terrible idea, and we will vigorously oppose it with bipartisan backing."