Banning assault weapons and expanding job training opportunities for prison inmates are among legislative priorities that New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin outlined in advance of a 3-month state legislative session that begins Monday, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune. State Rep. Cedric Richmond is pushing a revamping of the state’s workforce development program for inmates to “make sure the people who are released have the tools necessary to survive” when they are back on the street.
Proposals to ban assault weapons have been turned back in the past by pro-gun legislators. Richmond expects strong opposition to the idea from some of his colleagues and the National Rifle Association. He said: “Our strong position is that just as you can’t go in a store and buy a hand grenade or a bazooka, which people term as weapons of mass destruction, you should not be able to walk into a store and buy an AK-47, an Uzi, an M-16 and various other assault weapons.”