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Crist, Brown Change Stances on Assault Weapons Band Crist, Brown Change Stances on Assault Weapons Band

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Crist, Brown Change Stances on Assault Weapons Band

photo of Julie Sobel
December 20, 2012

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, both eyeing upcoming races, have something else in common: Both men just flip-flopped on an assault weapons ban.

The Massachusetts Republican, who said as recently as this summer -- after the shootings in Aurora, Colorado -- that legislation like an assault weapons ban is best left to states, told the Springfield Republican that the elementary school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut had changed his mind.

"What happened in Newtown where those children were subject to that level of violence is beyond my comprehension. As a state legislator in Massachusetts I supported an assault weapons ban thinking other states would follow suit. But unfortunately, they have not and innocent people are being killed," Brown said. "As a result, I support a federal assault weapons ban, perhaps like the legislation we have in Massachusetts."

If Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., is nominated secretary of state, Brown is expected to mount a bid for his seat in a 2013 special election.

Meanwhile, Crist, a former Republican, looks like a likely Democratic candidate in Florida's 2014 gubernatorial race (and his numbers don't look bad). Here's the Tampa Bay Times on Crist's new-found views on gun control:

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who throughout his long political career has been staunchly pro-gun rights, said Wednesday that after the Connecticut school slayings, he now backs controls.

He expressed support for a renewed assault weapons ban, a size limit on ammunition clips and tougher background checks.

"We need to have some restrictions, that's pretty obvious to most people," Crist told the Tampa Bay Times prior to testifying before a Senate panel on voting laws. "What do you need a 30-clip magazine for? Not to go hunting deer. I can tell you that because I hunt deer."

...

As recently as 2010, when Crist was running as a Republican for U.S. Senate, he accused rival Marco Rubio of being soft on guns and supporting a waiting period and background checks that were already in state law.

 

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