Two Republicans have come out in support of banning assault rifles in the wake of a devastating shooting last week at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that left nineteen children and two teachers dead.
According to Newsweek, Reps. Chris Jacobs (R-NY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) have both said they are in favor of stricter gun laws regarding AR-15-style weapons and an increase in the minimum legal age to purchase guns to twenty-one.
“Look, I have opposed a ban, you know, fairly recently. I think I'm open to a ban now. It's going to depend on what it looks like because there's a lot of nuances on what constitutes, you know, certain things,” Kinzinger told CNN on Sunday.
“We have to be coming to the table with ways to mitigate eighteen-year-olds buying these guns and walking into schools—my side's not doing that. My side is not coming forward with reasonable ways to defend an amendment that we think is very important. And so, I'm looking at this going, ‘Fine, if people are going to put forward solutions about certifying maybe who can buy an assault weapon, I'm certainly open to that,’” he continued.
Meanwhile, Newsweek reported that Jacobs stated during a recent news conference that he explicitly favors banning assault weapons.
“If an assault weapons ban bill came to the floor that would ban something like an AR-15, I would vote for it. So, I want to be clear: I would vote for it,” he said.
“I think it's reasonable to say: does a civilian need more than a ten-round magazine in their guns?” he added.
The two lawmakers’ comments come as President Joe Biden pushes for a blanket ban on assault weapons.
“It makes no sense to be able to purchase something that can fire up to 300 rounds,” Biden, who visited Uvalde on Sunday to meet with affected families and first responders, told reporters outside the White House on Monday.
“The idea of these high-caliber weapons—there’s simply no rational basis for it in terms of, about self-protection, hunting and I guess—and, remember, the Constitution, the Second Amendment was never absolute. You couldn’t buy a cannon when the Second Amendment was passed. You couldn't go out and purchase a lot of weaponry,” he continued.
On Tuesday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre further clarified Biden’s stance by saying that he doesn’t support a broad-based ban on the sale of all handguns.
“[The president] supports a ban on sales of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and expanded background checks to keep guns out of dangerous hands,” she said, per Fox News. “He does not support a ban on the sale of all handguns.”
Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Finance and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.