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Pushes for gun restrictions are echoing from both sides of the aisle after last week’s tragic Uvalde, Texas elementary school shooting which left 21 dead. Though the echoes sound dimmer from the right, retiring Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill, is among the GOP representatives calling for ramped up gun control actions.
Kinzinger spoke with CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday, telling the “State of the Union” host that he is “open to a ban” after expressing longtime support for the Second Amendment. The departing congressman has become one of his own party’s most vocal critics.
“It’s going to depend on what [the ban] looks like because there’s a lot of nuances on what constitutes certain things,” he said, adding his question of whether buyers need an “additional license” or “extra training” to purchase firearms given the “assault weapons” label.
Kinzinger added that the question is more focused on whether tightened restrictions would be a better measure than a ban before calling attention to the overwhelming majority of AR-15 owners who would never commit atrocities and the significance of the minority who would.
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“99.9 percent of people who own ARs are not going to walk into a school and do this,” he said. “But the problem is for those who support the Second Amendment – like me – we have to be coming to the table with ways to mitigate 18-year-olds buying these guns and walking into schools.”
The Illinois representative went a step further, calling on his Republican colleagues to tackle gun violence issues as defenders of the Second Amendment, arguing that they are not voicing their opinions effectively enough.
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“My side is not [coming to the table],” he said. “My side is not coming forward with reasonable ways to defend an amendment we think is very important.”
During the segment, Kinzinger also added that he is “certainly open to” congressional Democrats’ pushes to “certify” who can purchase assault weapons in the future.
Willingness to support an assault weapons ban or tightened restrictions on assault weapons purchases is not the only recent gun control call from Kinzinger since the Uvalde, Texas, tragedy unfolded, however.
The Republican congressman also proposed raising the age required to purchase a firearm to 21, calling the move a “no-brainer,” emphasizing that the human brain develops significantly between age 18 and age 21 and cited the recent move to raise the age to legally purchase tobacco products to age 21 as well.
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Kinzinger was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Trump last year for “incitement of insurrection” and sits on the Jan. 6 Select Committee investigating the Capitol Riot.
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