Colorado State Senator: It Was A ‘Good Thing’ That Movie Theater Gunman Had 100-Round Magazine

CREDIT: AP Photo/Ed Andrieski

People visit 12 crosses erected in memory of the 12 people who were killed in the Aurora theater shooting on a hill across the street from the theater in Aurora, Colo., on Saturday, July 20, 2013.

Seventy people were injured and 12 were killed when a gunman opened fire at a crowded movie theater during the premiere of Dark Knight Rises, back in July of 2012. At the time, the public and law enforcement were floored by the arsenal that alleged gunman James Holmes had: $15,000 worth of ballistic gear, firearms, and high capacity magazine clips — 100-round clips, purchased over the internet.

But on Wednesday, Colorado state Sen. Bernie Herpin (R) told one of his colleagues that he thinks it may have been a “good thing” that Holmes had such massive ammo rounds, since ultimately the AR15 he used in the attack jammed. Local Fox affiliate KDVR has the transcript of the discussion, which took place during testimony over whether or not to repeal Colorado’s since-established ban on high-capacity clips:

“My understanding is that James Holmes bought his 100-round capacity magazine legally,” said Sen. Irene Aguilar, D-Denver. “So in fact, this law would have stopped James Holmes from purchasing a 100-round magazine.

“I was wondering if you agree with me.”

“Perhaps, James Holmes would not have been able to purchase a 100-round magazine,” Herpin responded.

“As it turned out, that was maybe a good thing that he had a 100-round magazine, because it jammed. If he had four, five, six 15-round magazines, there’s no telling how much damage he could have done until a good guy with a gun showed up.”

KDVR has the audio here.

High-capacity drum clips like the one Holmes carried can fire off about one bullet a second. The gunman from the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School also used high-capacity magazine clips, though his were 30 bullet containers as opposed to Holmes’s hundred. Such magazines used to be illegal under the federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004. Since the Aurora and Newtown shootings, however, several states including Colorado and Connecticut have passed their own laws regulating high-capacity magazines.