August 28, 2014

On assault weapons ban, Grassley is a “no to that now”

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says there are new measures he’d support in reaction to recent mass shootings, but an assault weapons ban isn’t one of them.

“We’ve got to look at things different than just guns,” Grassley said today during taping of  Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press” program. “I’m a supporter of the Second Amendment…I also think, though, that we do have to do things to make sure the database of the FBI has all the information so people can’t buy guns that shouldn’t have guns.”

According to Grassley, states need to do a better job of forwarding information to the FBI about people who shouldn’t be sold guns — essentially felons and those suffering from mental illnesses.

As for other measures, Grassley’s not embracing or ruling out the idea of limits on ammunition, for instance restricting the number of bullets that can be fired from an assault-style weapon.

“I think that’s a whole different issue and can maybe be dealt with without violating the Second Amendment, but I want to see the legislation,” Grassley said.

A reporter followed up, asking Grassley: “So you might vote for something that would limit the size of magazines, the number of bullets?”

Grassley replied: “I would not say at this point.”

Vice President Biden is expected to unveil his gun safety recommendations to the president on Tuesday. President Obama has publicly expressed support for banning military-style weapons capable of firing a large number of rounds of ammunition in a short amount of time.

“I would have to say no to that now,” Grassley said. “Passing a law on sale of guns is not going to solve the problem that we had in Connecticut because the Columbine School affair, where 12 people were murdered in Colorado, that was during the ban.”

In 1994 Grassley voted against the assault weapons ban. The ban expired in 2004.

Grassley’s appearance on the “Iowa Press” program airs tonight at 7:30 on Iowa Public Television.