Washington — In a major reversal, Democratic Rep. Jared Golden of Maine called on Congress to ban assault weapons in the wake of the.
“I have opposed efforts to ban deadly weapons of war, like the assault rifle used to carry out this crime,” Golden said at a news conference Thursday. “The time has now come for me to take responsibility for this failure, which is why I now call on the United States Congress to ban assault rifles like the one used by the sick perpetrator of this mass killing in my hometown of Lewiston, Maine.”
At least 18 people were killed and 13 others wounded when a gunman first opened fire at a bowling alley, and then a restaurant, in the small city Wednesday night. The suspect, believed to be 40-year-old Robert Card, remains at large.
Golden, who has previously broken with his party to vote against gun control bills, said he’s now willing to work with his colleagues to pass such measures.
“For the good of my community, I will work with any colleague to get this done in the time that I have left in Congress,” he said.
Last year, Golden wasa bill that would have banned certain semi-automatic weapons. The bill passed the House after mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, , and in Highland Park, Illinois.
Golden also voted against a House-passed bill that would have raised the age limit for purchasing a semi-automatic rifle and banned the sale of high-capacity magazines.
“For far too many years, in the wake of tragic violent mass shootings, both Congress and the public have reacted with the same cycle of partisan debate and advocacy for proposals that do not have sufficient support to become law. Time and again, this cycle has resulted in nothing getting done,” Golden said in a June 2022 statement.
“Now is not a time for bills we all know will fail. Congress should not simply focus on ‘doing something’ but rather on doing something of substance that can pass into law and will advance the effort to prevent those with violent intent from obtaining or possessing weapons,” the statement said.