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Al Franken Won't Say Whether He Supports 'Assault Weapons' Ban (Updated)

8:31 AM, Jan 17, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Even Senator Al Franken, a staunch liberal, will not say whether he support a so-called assault weapons ban. The Post Bulletin reports:

On the day that President Obama proposed a sweeping package of gun-control measures, U.S. Sen. Al Franken signaled his support for several components of Obama's plan.

Franken, speaking during a press event in Rochester, said he supports limits on ammunition magazines to 10 rounds and tightening the nation's system of background checks. But, he declined to say whether he supported a ban on assault weapons, a key provision of the president's plan.

"I guess I don't have an answer for you," said Franken spokesman Marc Kimball, following a press conference during which the senator omitted a ban on assault weapons when asked about gun restrictions he might support.

"He's been listening to Minnesota, trying to be thoughtful on this and trying to get input from people from a wide spectrum of views," Kimball added.

UPDATE: The Post Bulletin apparently misstated Franken's views on gun control. He does in fact believe " that we should reinstate a ban on assault weapons." His office passes along this statement:

“My heart is heavy over the tragedy that occurred in Connecticut and my thoughts are with those who are grieving,” said Sen. Franken. “I’ve always supported the Second Amendment rights of Minnesotans to own firearms for collection, protection, and sport. But I also think we need to find a balance between those rights and the safety of our children and our communities. I co-sponsored legislation to large clips like those used in so many mass shootings.  I also support the principle that we should reinstate a ban on assault weapons, and I will carefully review any proposal to do that. We need to make sure we don’t have weapons out there that are really designed for the battlefield, and not for hunting. In the days and weeks ahead, I’m going to consult closely with all of the affected communities in the state – and that includes people like hunters, educators, parents, and other elected officials – about the best path forward.”

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