Republicans back AR-15 ban: “Certainly open to it”

Two Republicans have spoken out in favor of banning assault rifles after the mass shooting at a school in Uvalde, Texas, where the firearm was used.

Rep. Chris Jacobs of New York and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois have both said they support stricter gun laws, including a ban on AR-15 guns and raising the legal age to purchase other types of guns, following the recent mass shootings 21

On May 24, Uvalde gunman Salvador Ramos murdered 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School after legally purchasing two assault rifles shortly after his 18th birthday.

Kinzinger said he was “open” to introducing legislation that would ban assault weapons.

Chris Jacobs and Adam Kinzinger
Rep. Chris Jacobs (L) and Adam Kinzinger (R) have both spoken out in favor of banning AR-15s.

“It’s going to depend on how it looks because there’s a lot of nuance about what makes certain things,” Kinzinger told CNN state of the nation. “But for someone to own one, you might need an additional license, maybe you need additional training, so the question is, is it a ban or an additional certification?”

Kinzinger said that “99.9 percent” of people who own assault rifles won’t use them in attacks on schools, but lawmakers who support the Second Amendment “need to come to the table to find ways, 18-year-olds.” from buying these guns and walking to schools – my side doesn’t do that.

“My side does not come up with any sensible ways to defend an amendment that we think is very important,” Kinzinger added. “And so my take on it is, ‘Well, if people are going to come up with solutions to certify who might be able to buy an offensive weapon, I’m definitely open to that.'”

On Friday, Jacobs, who was endorsed by the National Rifle Association in 2020, also said at a news conference that he strongly advocates banning assault weapons — a stance that is in direct contradiction to almost all of his own party.

“If an assault weapons ban bill came on the table that would ban something like an AR-15, I would vote in favor of it,” Jacobs said. “So I want to make it clear: I would vote for it.”

Jacobs added that he would not support confiscation or mandatory buyback programs of such weapons from those who already own them.

The congressman added that a ban on large-capacity magazines could also play an important role in preventing mass shootings.

“I think it’s reasonable to say: does a civilian need more than a 10-round magazine in his gun?” said Jacobs.

After Congress banned semi-automatic weapons between 1994 and 2004, Jacobs suggested that the number of mass shootings in the country had not decreased, but the number of deaths from these attacks had.

Studies have found that mass shooting deaths have declined while the law was in place — as President Joe Biden recently noted — but it’s unclear how much the ban played a role, given that millions of assault weapons were still being used during the year and large-capacity magazines in circulation were 10-year time frames, Politifact reported.

A number of other GOP lawmakers, such as Senators Pat Toomey and Thom Tillis, have advocated for reforms such as stricter background checks. Senator John Cornyn is also negotiating with Democrats to compromise gun laws.

However, most Republicans have refused to back down their convictions against allowing gun restrictions.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who attended an NRA conference in Houston just days after the Uvalde school shooting, has repeatedly dismissed calls for gun law changes in the wake of the tragedy as “politics.”

Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a Texas Republican who was also scheduled to speak at the NRA meeting over the weekend but withdrew due to other commitments, told CNN state of the nation that he opposes the introduction of so-called red flag laws, which would allow guns to be confiscated from people who could pose a danger to themselves and others.

“What you’re essentially trying to do with a red flag law is enforce the law before the law is broken, and that’s a really difficult thing,” Crenshaw said. “It’s difficult to assess whether someone poses a threat.”

He added: “If there’s such a threat that they’re already threatening someone with a gun, then they’ve already broken the law, so why do you need this other law?” That’s the question I think critics are right to ask about these things, so it’s really unclear how they’re properly enforced and due process followed and ultimately how they solve the problem. Republicans back AR-15 ban: “Certainly open to it”

Rick Schindler

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