King reluctant to embrace assault weapon ban

BOSTON  — U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine said that he's reluctant to endorse a federal ban on the kind of assault weapon used in last month's Connecticut school shooting.

Angus King
Robert F. Bukaty

FILE - In a Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012 file photo, Independent Senator-elect Angus King speaks at a news conference, in Freeport, Maine. King says he

The newly elected senator, an independent, said in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday that he supports universal background checks and limits on high-capacity ammunition magazines as proposed this week by President Barack Obama. But he said he hasn't decided whether to embrace the president's call to ban new assault weapons.

"Frankly, the more important aspects of the president's proposal is the expansion of background checks, which I believe is appropriate, and the limitation on the size of magazines," King said, adding that smaller magazines would "most likely ... alleviate the risks associated with whatever the weapon is."

A gunman armed with an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle killed 20 first-graders and six educators last month at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Obama this week proposed a ban on new assault weapons and said he wants to limit ammunition magazines to 10 rounds or less.

Asked whether he supported banning new assault weapons, like the one used in the Connecticut attack, King said, "I don't know."

"My friends who hunt in Maine — virtually everyone uses a semi-automatic hunting rifle," King said, noting that he hasn't seen the president's proposal in writing. "I'd need to see how it's worded and how 'assault weapon' is defined. I think it's impossible to say yes or no until I know exactly what's on the table."

A lopsided 84 percent of Americans back broader background checks, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. Nearly 6 in 10 Americans want stricter gun laws, the same poll showed, with majorities favoring a nationwide ban on military-style weapons.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, said recently it's unlikely an assault weapons ban would actually pass the House of Representatives. Absent action by Congress, all that remains are 23 executive orders Obama announced that apply only to the federal government, not local or state law enforcement.

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Catherine Pressey's picture

Hate to say this:

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
In the event that it would come to a war between the citizens and the Gov. we would not be able to organize a militia, so that we citizens can regulate such. And as much as I am not into guns, I can truly understand the one sided stand we the people would have if our Gov. can and does take away those weapons that can level the balance between our Gov. military and any militia we the citizens may have to defend agaist all enemies of our country both foreign and domestic. Domestic can mean the Federal Gov. this constitution written was given much thought, and in no way should we go charging ahead without much thought, with any ban. I am glad that our new Senator will read all of the proposal before, jumping into a no win situation for us all. And checking out about the hand guns being used in Conn. Not the rifle, personally nothing we pass could have stopped this from happening, if a mother or person does not keep safe the weapons in their care. Even background Checks can not stop this. I have lately been disapointed at all the violence on TV, it is murder , killings shows It is no wonder that our people are being brain washed, or numbed to violence of any kind. Just try to find a movie to watch! Guess I like the happy ever after kind that the neighbors all take care of each other. Guess that also means protecting each other from harm of any kind. My stand is unsure in some ways, so much to be considered, glad King will think before, and read between the lines too, I hope.

Amedeo Lauria's picture

I'm glad to see that Senator King is reluctant...

and especially pleased that he is not going to support something he hasn't seen!

Senator King, just read this and you will know what to do:

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Maybe there is hope! We'll wait and see.

Earl Gilbert's picture

2nd Amendment

It's not about hunting. It's about the balance of power between the people and the government that's every bit as important as the balance of power between the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government. Infringing on the 2nd amendment right to bear arms by the people is a sure way to be unemployed in the next elections. Supporting any limits on firearms or magazine restrictions is the very definition of "infringing" and will not be tolerated. When the Vice-President goes on record stating that the Federal government doesn't have the money to enforce current gun laws, what is the point of passing more laws? What is the point of penalizing law abiding citizens with more restrictions that are ineffective and just show that our politicians are doing "something". I would much rather our politicians do nothing than infringe on my natural rights protected by the Bill of Rights.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

King is smart enough to know

King is smart enough to know that if he supports anything that even resembles gun restrictions he will be Maine's Senator for one term and one term only.

AL PELLETIER's picture

Just think Paul

If the NRA drops a cool million in his back pocket maybe he won't have to think about a second term. I hope he follows his common sense and not the money.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Every politician has his

Every politician has his price, but I'm not sure money is King's motivating force these days.
Who do you think will be in SB? Pats and Falcons or Ravens and Niners? Sure hope we don't end up with a Harbaugh Brothers SB.

AL PELLETIER's picture

I say plan "A"

But I'll be holding my breath.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I just rolled my Playoff dice

I just rolled my Playoff dice for today's action:
Pats win by 4
Niners win by......drum roll, please....Nine
But, hoping for a Falcons upset; my 3 years in GA were not for nought.
Shouldn't hold your breath, Al. not good for your heart. 0O:-)

Mark Elliott's picture

Richard..."reluctance to talk

Richard..."reluctance to talk about it" is a big problem and is only helping the media keep the truth hidden. The biggest lie about Sandy hook is that he used an "assault style" weapon. The administration does not want that truth coming out because he has hinged his whole gun ban on this event. Yes, he is indeed standing on the grave of those children to move his agenda.

Truth is, Adam Lanza used 4 handguns in the shooting but that story was only told very briefly, then scrubbed. Here is NBC (a liberal source) confirming it:

There are many questions to be asked still. I suggest you take a moment and read this aritcle that is asking those questions. Keep an open mind and use logic NOT emotion. I am not trying to force you to believe what I am telling you, just ask yourself those same questions and try to get them answered. See what you come up with. This article has source links throughout you can follow....

Mark Elliott's picture

PS: I too applaud the liberal

PS: I too applaud the liberal "independent" senator King for being he should be. He did take an oath.

Richard Begin's picture

Senator King's Reluctance and Caution

I applaud our Newest Senator for his Honesty. Angus King understands the thinking of Maine Gun owners and Hunters. I am not a Hunter, but I can see Al Pelletiers point of View. I reccomend all interested Parties to voice their Opinions on this Matter.

This issue about Fireams is very Traumatic and in light of the recent events in Arizona, Colorado and Conn we do need to take steps to eradicate this Wholesale Violence.

I for one am reluctant to talk about this because I'm not sure if I can offer anything of Substance to this Debate.

AL PELLETIER's picture

I'm glad King is cautious.

But I beg to differ with one thing he said about Maine hunters, "virtually everyone uses a semi-automatic hunting rifle". In many years of hunting I've found the rifle of choice for Maine hunters has been the bolt action. It's known to be the most accurate and experienced hunters will tell you, it's not how many rounds you squeeze of, it's making the first round count.
I own an old Marlin 30-30 lever action and a Remington Anniversary Edition 30-06 semi-automatic. My old 30-30 is usually my first choice as the 06 weighs twice as much and it only takes one shot anyway.

Noel Foss's picture

kudos for logical thinking

Too bad more of our representatives aren't "reluctant" to make decisions on proposals until they've read them.


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