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Casey Flips, Supports Assault Weapons Ban

Sen. Bob Casey is the latest in a series of pro-gun Democrats to voice their support for new restrictions on firearms in the aftermath of the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. He had previously opposed renewing the ban on assault weapons.

He said he’d like to see a ban on assault weapons as well as high capacity magazines (more than 10 rounds per clip).

“If those two bills come before the Senate, I’ll vote for both,” Casey said in a lengthy sit-down interview with Jonathan Tamari of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“Work that we do doesn’t always bring you to that kind of deliberation or consideration. This has, for me, and I have to, and I think I should, vote that way on those two” measures, he said.

It’s a departure from his stance in the aftermath of the Aurora, Colorado theatre shootings, when – campaigning for re-election – he said he’d still oppose such a ban.

Casey had an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association in 2006 and a “B+” during the election this year. Despite a generally pro-incumbent approach, the NRA declined to make an endorsement in his campaign versus Republican Tom Smith.

He said the Newtown shooting was different from Aurora.

“The power of the weapon, the number of bullets that hit each child, that was so, to me, just so chilling, it haunts me. It should haunt every public official.”

“I’ve been around government and public policy a long time, and I can’t think of another time when I had these same feelings,” he said. “I don’t really care if people criticize me for having emotions about this. It probably helped me think about it in a different way.”

He said his wife Terese also challenged him to change his position.

He follows other Democratic Senators like Harry Reid of Nevada and Mark Warner of Virginia who have said recently that they would support such measures. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has sent mixed signals about his willingness to support such a move.

“There’s no question I’ll be open to criticism, and I understand that,” Casey said. “I just believe that in light of what’s happened, in light of measures we can take to lessen the chances that will happen [again], that these are two steps we can take.”

17 Responses

  1. The last ban did absolutely nothing. Just window dressing. Casey is a flip flopper who bends with the wind.
    Who cares what his wife wants, she was not elected.

  2. Thanks for not bowing to the powerful gun lobby. The second amendment was written during the days of the musket. Any hunter who needs an assault weapon to kill a deer is not a sportsman. You may have your rifles for hunting (no problem with that) your handguns for target practice and self defense ( no problem with that) but an assault weapon with clips that rapidly fire so many rounds are actually WMD’s (weapons of mass destruction and murder). Unless you are a member of the military and defending our country, you really have no need for such weapons.

  3. @helppa. stop trolling for Rothfus. the election is over. everyone knows your a staffer of his, so just knock it off

  4. Ah Republicans and their pathological fear of black people with guns. That’s all it is guys, you know that right? You’re merely scared of black people, and hispanics, and gays, and jews, and muslisms, and women. Basically if you’re not a white, rich, man, then Republicans will do everything they can to suppress your voice. You guys don’t need automatic weapons to protect you from your bigotry. You guys just need to grow up

  5. What a surprise. Casey’s an empty suit. It’s no wonder he’d run on a pro-gun platform and then spinelessly succumb to party leadership.

  6. Anyone surprised? Casey is not capable of thinking on his own and marches lock-step with his master, Obama.

  7. Wouldn’t expect less from a politician. Claim to suppor the 2nd Amendment during your campaign, then “crawfish” at the first test of liberties that it was created to provide American Citizens!! Bob Casey is nothing more than a liberal communist in disguise!!

  8. Traitor. Nice to see the scum crawl out of their caves to spit on the Bill of Rights in front of the entire nation. The 2nd Amendment is not negotiable!!!! Our Constitution is not a living document, full of “negative liberties.” These liberals make me gag. Casey should be forced to live in North Philly for a week without a gun. They’d have his rich white behind for dinner.

  9. What can you expect from a catholic that supports abortion through his votes on ObamaCare. He votes in lock-step with Obama.

  10. Emoter – while any death of a child is horrible, those that happen in a pool are accidents and were not forced by someone else.

    What happened in Connecticut was at the hands of a mass murderer. The two scenarios do not equate.

  11. We better outlaw swimming pools. Do you know how many children die a horrible drowning death each year? Their poor parents! The thought of their children’s last moments flailing and gasping for oxygen….screaming for help that never comes

  • Understanding that basic education funding should/will be first, what should be the next highest priority for the General Assembly?

    • Raising The Minimum Wage (25%)
    • Legalizing Adult-Use Marijuana (24%)
    • None of the above. Something Else. (20%)
    • Economic Development (14%)
    • Higher Education (8%)
    • Public Transportation (8%)
    • Workforce Opportunities and Innovation (2%)

    Total Voters: 51

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