In the wake of the Newtown school massacre, many Democrats want to bring back the "assault weapons ban," which was in effect from 1994 to 2004. But Harry Reid, the leader of the Senate Democrats, voted against renewing the ban in 2004, along with six other Democratic senators, including Wisconsin's Russ Feingold and Louisiana's Mary Landrieu.
According to Reid's campaign website, the Nevada senator is "staunchly opposed to the so-called assault weapons ban, played a critical role in passing a law to protect gun manufacturers from junk lawsuits, and consistently votes to protect Nevadans’ Second Amendment rights." The website also includes a ringing endorsement of Reid from the president of the NRA:
“I am proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with Senator Reid in our fight to protect the Second Amendment.” – Wayne LaPierre, CEO of the National Rifle Association
But during remarks on the Senate floor Monday, Reid said that in "the coming days and weeks, we will engage in a meaningful conversation and thoughtful debate about how to change laws and culture that allow violence to grow.”
Does that mean Reid is open to changing his position on the assault weapons ban? Reid's spokesman did not reply to an email Monday from THE WEEKLY STANDARD asking if Reid still opposes the ban, but a person close to Reid told Politico's Manu Raju that the majority leader's thinking on gun control is "evolving":
“I talked to Harry,” Feinstein told POLITICO on Monday. “He didn’t say, ‘I will support you.’ He did say, ‘Something has to be done.’”
“His thinking is evolving,” said a Reid confidant, who asked not to be named. “He is probably not going to take the lead in advocating for action, but I believe his thinking has evolved to the point where he will not oppose further efforts and will give them space to happen, especially if they are bipartisan.”