GOP rep on proposed assault weapons ban: We have to draw a line somewhere

Greg Nash

Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.) repeated his call on Tuesday for a ban on assault weapons, arguing that there’s a need to strike a balance between Second Amendment rights and public safety. 

“Our Second Amendment is an unimpeachable, God-given right to defend ourselves; one of the most basic rights,” Mast said on CNN’s “New Day.” “But we recognize that there is a balance between what is the level of lethality, what is that level of firepower and does that fall in line.”

“We recognize that there is a line somewhere that we say ‘here’s the Second Amendment and here is public safety,’ ” he added. “And there is room. They’re not mutually exclusive to one another.”


Mast penned an op-ed in The New York Times last week coming out in support of a ban on assault-style weapons, writing that a prohibition on civilians buying military-style weapons does not violate Americans’ constitutional right to bear arms.

Mast’s comments came less than two weeks after a gunman opened fire on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., killing 17 people and injuring 14 others.

The suspect in the shooting, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, allegedly carried out the attack using an AR-15, an assault-style rifle that he purchased legally from a dealer in Coral Springs, Fla., roughly a year earlier.

The attack has reignited an intense national debate over gun control laws that has put pressure on politicians. 

President Trump has suggested strengthening the nation’s background check system and raising the minimum age to purchase certain guns but has not come out in support of an assault weapons ban.

Assault weapons were prohibited for civilian purchase from 1994 until 2004, when the law banning their purchase expired. 

Tags Brian Mast Donald Trump Gun control Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Parkland shooting

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