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Franken says he supports an assault weapons ban

WASHINGTON — The Minnesota delegation, as a whole, didn't have a lot to say on President Obama's gun control proposals Wednesday.

But Sen. Al Franken, speaking in Rochester, announced his support for increased background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines, and in a statement Thursday, he confirmed he supports a ban on assault weapons, though he'll wait to review Obama's proposal before committing to it.

Here's a statement from Franken, through his office:

“My heart is heavy over the tragedy that occurred in Connecticut and my thoughts are with those who are grieving. I’ve always supported the Second Amendment rights of Minnesotans to own firearms for collection, protection, and sport. But I also think we need to find a balance between those rights and the safety of our children and our communities. I co-sponsored legislation to ban large clips like those used in so many mass shootings.  I also support the principle that we should reinstate a ban on assault weapons, and I will carefully review any proposal to do that. We need to make sure we don’t have weapons out there that are really designed for the battlefield, and not for hunting. In the days and weeks ahead, I’m going to consult closely with all of the affected communities in the state – and that includes people like hunters, educators, parents, and other elected officials – about the best path forward.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar also supports the assault weapons ban, though its support in Congress may not be deep enough to renew the law that expired in 2004. 

Devin Henry can be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com.

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