(CNN) – Initially Rep. Diana DeGette was against large gun magazines because they “put the ‘mass’ in ‘mass shooting’” but now the Colorado Democrat has warmed to them. If enough people use them, she said, eventually the supply will run out.
Her comments sparked mockery from conservatives.
“Rep. Diana DeGette appears not to understand how guns work,” responded the National Rifle Association.
“Is she really that ignorant, or does she think WE are?” asked a poster on the conservative website Free Republic.
And the site Colorado Peak Politics wrote, “No, Diana, gun magazines are not expendable. You can reload them. It’s a modern marvel of technology!”
They were referring to her comments at a gun violence forum in Denver on Tuesday, when she said, “These are ammunition, they are bullets, so the people who have those now, they’re going to shoot them, so if you ban them in the future, the number of these high capacity magazines is going to decrease dramatically over time because the bullets will have been shot and there won’t be any more available.”
While the gunman responsible for recent mass shootings carried multiple magazines, it’s not because the devices are meant to be discarded but because it is faster to swap one magazine for another than to reload them on the spot.
Magazines are easily exchangeable and reloadable ammunition containers which have a feeding device. An older form of magazines, gun clips hold ammunition together and were often reused.
Her spokeswoman told The Denver Post she “simply misspoke in referring to ‘magazines’ when she should have referred to ‘clips.’”
DeGette introduced a bill banning large gun magazines in January, and wrote in a press release at the time, “These devices are used to kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time possible and we owe it to innocent Americans everywhere to keep them out of the hands of dangerous people
“We don’t even allow hunters to use them — something’s deeply wrong if we’re protecting game more than we’re protecting innocent human beings,” she wrote, though she provided no evidence to her claim that hunters were barred from using large magazines.
Her comments this week circulated on conservative websites including Breitbart and Revealing Politics which was credited by some for initially flagging the comments. The site wrote she “exposes the complete lack of understanding of the very thing she is trying to legislate.”
Conservative talk show host Chris Plante tweeted, “Dianna DeGette is Chris’ favorite moron of the day today. She thinks gun magazines can only be used once.”
“Stunningly stupid,” was Colorado Republican state Sen. Greg Brophy’s response to the remark, according to The Daily Caller.
“I would think that if you’re going to sponsor a bill regulating [firearms], you’d at least want to know how they worked,” he said.
The governor of Colorado signed several gun restrictions last month, including a 15-round limit for gun magazines that takes effect July 1. Connecticut is implementing a similar measure that sets the limit at 10 rounds and New York also implemented gun restrictions this year.
A call to DeGette office for comment was not immediately returned on Thursday.