By Pat Loeb

GLASSBORO, N.J. (CBS) — US senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) believes there is growing support for reinstating a national ban on assault weapons.

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Menendez has so far supported 12 failed attempts to make the ban permanent but says the mass murder of children in Connecticut has moved the debate.

This is a New Jersey issue for Sen. Menendez.  His home state already has the second-toughest gun regulations in the country but is surrounded by states with laws that are more lax.

The federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms has traced more than 2,000 guns used to commit crimes in New Jersey last year, and according to Menendez only about 400 were purchased in New Jersey.

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“We need a national ban on high-capacity weapons because otherwise we just get trafficking from one state to another,” Menendez says.

And he says he’s been heartened by two previously pro-gun senators recently changing their stance.

But Menendez still faces opposition in his own state.  Bob Viden, a gun seller in Glassboro, NJ, says a weapons ban won’t prevent tragedy.

“Where these attacks are happening are gun-free zones, where people are not allowed to have guns,” he tells KYW Newsradio.  “(So,) good people aren’t allowed to have guns.  Bad people don’t follow the law.”

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