A federal judge who sentenced the man who shot former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords says it's time to bring back the federal assault weapons ban.

In an opinion piece published Thursday in the Los Angeles Times, U.S. District Judge Larry Burns wrote that "Congress must reinstate and toughen the ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines."

The San Diego-based judge says there's "no reason civilians need to own assault weapons" and regulating the number of rounds a gun can fire without reloading "might be able to take the 'mass' out of 'mass shooting.'"

Burns sentenced Jared Lee Loughner in November to seven life terms plus 140 years in prison for the Jan. 8, 2011 shooting on Tucson's northwest side. Six people, including a federal judge, were killed, and 13 others, including Giffords and her successor, U.S. Rep. Ron Barber, were wounded.

Loughner used a 9mm Glock pistol with an extended clip holding 33 rounds. He fired all 33 during the rampage and was reloading when two men tackled and subdued him and a woman grabbed the new clip away from him.