Local lawmakers' views on gun control

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As President Obama proposed gun control reform change on Wednesday in the wake of the Newtown school massacre last month, Local 6 compiled local lawmakers' political views on gun control.

The following are excerpts from statements released by the public officials, along with information compiled on OnTheIssues.org.

US Senate

  • Marco Rubio - Rep : Rubio says he remains a strong supporter of the Second Amendment right to safely and responsibly bear arms. He released a statement on Wednesday following Obama's announcement reiterating his support of the 2nd Amendment rights of law abiding citizens. "Guns are not the problem; criminals with evil in their hearts and mentally ill people prone to violence are. Rather than sweeping measures that make it harder for responsible, law-abiding citizens to purchase firearms, we should focus on the root causes of gun violence and keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill," Rubio said in a statement released to Local 6.  "As a strong defender of the 2nd Amendment, I will oppose the President's attempts to undermine Americans' constitutional right to bear arms."

Rubio also said he believes "nothing the president is proposing would have stopped the massacre at Sandy Hook. President Obama is targeting the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens instead of seriously addressing the real underlying causes of such violence. "

  • Bill Nelson - Dem : Nelson says Obama's proposal isn't an assault on the Second Amendment, according to a statement. "Why in the world would we not want to check to see if a person buying a weapon has a criminal record?  And why wouldn't we want limits on assault weapons like AK-47s?" Nelson said. "People are buying assault weapons to kill others, not to hunt.  And when assault rifles are used to kill children, it's time for America to act.  This is a problem that common sense and moderation should dictate what the law should be. "

US House of Representatives

  • Ted Yoho - Rep. Marion, District 3 : Yoho states on his website that he will fight to maintain the Second Amendment.  "The right to bear arms is a birth right and should never be threatened," Yoho states on his website. "I will fight to preserve our Constitutional rights. I am proud to say I hold an A rating from the NRA."
  • Corrine Brown - Dem. Marion, Lake, Seminole, and Orange, District 5 : "Voted no on prohibiting product misuse lawsuits on gun manufacturers (Oct 2005). Voted no on prohibiting suing gun makers & sellers for gun misuse (Apr 2003). Voted no on decreasing gun waiting period from 3 days to 1(Jun 1999). Rated F by the NRA, indicating a pro-gun control voting record (Dec 2003)."
  • Ron DeSantis - Rep. Flagler, Volusia, District 6 : According to Project Vote Smart, DeSantis has opposed the survey question on gun restrictions.
  • John Mica - Rep. Volusia, Seminole and Orange, District 7 :  According to a statement on Mica's website, he is a strong Second Amendment supporter. "I believe we can take positive steps that hopefully will curtail or prevent this type of tragedy in the future.  However, any actions we take must be effective and directed action that does not infringe on the rights of Americans," Mica states. "I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to promote responsible gun ownership while continuing to preserve those rights protected by the Constitution."
  • Bill Posey - Rep. Brevard and Orange, District 8 : In the past, according to On the Issues.com, Posey has voted for "national cross-state standard for concealed carry (Jan 2009). Loosen restrictions on interstate gun purchases (Oct 2011). Allow veterans to register unlicensed guns acquired abroad (Mar 2011). Recognize heritage of hunting & shooting on federal lands (Sept 2011). Allow reloading spent military small arms ammunition (Apr 2009)."

  • Alan Grayson - Dem. Osceola and Orange, District 9 : According to OnTheIssues.org, Grayson signed H.R.197&S.845 National cross-state standard for concealed carry), which establishes a national standard for the carrying of concealed firearms."

  • Daniel Webster - Rep. Lake and Orange, District 10 : According to OnTheIssues.org, Webster opposes restrictions on the right to bear arms. Loosen restrictions on interstate gun purchases."

  • Richard Nugent - Rep. Marion, Sumter and Lake, District 11: According to OnTheIssues.org, Nugent is a "staunch defender of gun rights (Nov 2010) and opposes restricting gun purchase & possession (Nov 2010). He also voted to loosen restrictions on interstate gun purchases (Oct 2011)."

Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association released a statement following Obama's announcement saying,  "attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis we face as a nation.  Only honest, law-abiding gun owners will be affected and our children will remain vulnerable to the inevitability of more tragedy."

The NRA will continue to "focus on keeping children safe, securing schools, fixing mental health systems and prosecuting violent criminals."

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