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Former Pa. Gov. Rendell: "Everyone is Scared of the NRA"

Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesNEW YORK) -- Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell decried federal lawmakers for failing to pass a permanent ban on assault weapons, such as the one used in Friday’s deadly Colorado movie theater shooting.

Rendell said it was an “act of cowardice by the Congress” not to renew the ban, which expired in 2004, and blamed lawmakers for being too “terrified” of the National Rifle Association, which has lobbied against the ban, to actually do it.

“We’re terrified of the NRA. We Democrats are as bad as the Republicans. Everyone is scared of the NRA,” Rendell said Friday on MSNBC. “There are some things worth losing for in politics, and to be able to prevent carnage like this is worth losing for.”

Rendell said there is “no reason” for people to have assault weapons.

“No hunter needs it, no citizen needs it to protect their home,” he said. "Citizens are allowed to have firearms, shotguns, no assault weapons."

The former governor also called on Congress to ban high-capacity gun clips like the one Jared Loughner used to kill six people and wound Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Ariz., last year. Rendell said Friday that a ban on high-capacity magazines, which can hold twice as many bullets as regular gun clips, would have saved people from “serious bodily injury” in the Tucson shooting.

“We need leadership, and we need someone to stand up and say enough is enough,” Rendell said.

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