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Dem senator says he now supports ban on assault-style weapons

Dem senator says he now supports ban on assault-style weapons
© Greg Nash

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerComey memo fallout is mostly fizzle Pompeo lacks votes for positive vote on panel Heitkamp becomes first Dem to back Pompeo for secretary of State MORE (D-Va.) says he would now back a ban on assault-style weapons.

“I don’t know how I can responsibly look at those young people and not say ‘We need to do something,’ ” Warner said Friday, according to The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va.

“We can debate around the edges where and what the perfect solution is. ... But it’s time for action.”

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Warner said the challenge in drafting legislation is that an "assault weapon, in the law, is a kind of a vague term."

"You change the trigger, you change the sight, and some weapons are in, some weapons are out. There’s not going to be a perfect solution,” he said.

“But the notion that just because it’s hard we shouldn’t do it — I just don’t think we can sit through more of the mass murders and not take action.”

Warner was among a handful of Senate Democrats who voted against a ban on assault-style weapons in 2013 following the deadly mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Last month, he signaled a potential shift on his position on the issue, saying it was time to "change our positions and re-examine them."

Gun control has become a central issue in the country since a gunman opened fire in February at a high school in Parkland, Fla., killing 17 people.

Since the shooting, students have become vocal advocates for gun control, demanding that lawmakers pass new gun laws to prevent future school shootings.

Last month, hundreds of thousands of people marched in cities across the country to protest gun violence and call for action.