Maine Congressman Flips on Assault Weapons Ban After Mass Shooting

Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) said that he was reversing his opposition to banning military-style rifles after 18 people were killed in a mass shooting on Wednesday in his hometown of Lewiston, Maine.

A manhunt for a suspect is still underway as of Thursday afternoon.

“Out of fear of this dangerous world that we live in, in my determination to protect my own daughter and wife in our own community, because of a false confidence that our community was above this and that we could be in full control, among many other misjudgments, I have opposed efforts to ban deadly weapons of war, like the assault rifle used to carry out this crime,” Golden said during a press conference Thursday.

“The time has now come for me to take responsibility for this failure, which is why I now call on the United States Congress to ban assault rifles, like the one used by the sick perpetrator of this mass killing in my hometown of Lewiston, Maine,” he continued, promising that “for the good of my community, I will work with any colleague to get this done in the time that I have left in Congress.”

He added, “To the people of Lewiston, my constituents throughout the 2nd District, to those who lost loved ones and to those who have been harmed, I ask for forgiveness and support as I seek to put an end to these terrible shootings.”

Last year, the House passed the measure  217 to 213, which went to the Senate where it expired at the end of the term. Five Democrats voted against the measure including Rep. Golden, Ron Kind of Wisconsin, Vicente Gonzalez of Texas, Henry Cuellar of Texas, and Kurt Schrader of Oregon.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden renewed his call for congressional Republicans to work with Democrats to support bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, requiring universal background checks, and better safety protocols.

“Today, in the wake of yet another tragedy, I urge Republican lawmakers in Congress to fulfill their duty to protect the American people,” Biden said in the statement. “This is the very least we owe every American who will now bear the scars — physical and mental — of this latest attack.”

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