Responding to a report Thursday that suggested otherwise, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) made it clear in a statement that he supports "the principle that we should reinstate a ban on assault weapons" and said he "will carefully review any proposal to do that."
A story in the Post-Bulletin of Rochester, Minn. quoted a Franken spokesman who said he didn't "have an answer" on whether the Democrat supported a ban. The report also suggested that Franken did not mention an assault weapons ban when he rattled off the list of his favored White House gun control proposals during a Wednesday press avail in Rochester.
But a Franken aide told TPM that the junior senator from Minnesota has "consistently supported" a reinstatement to the ban, and that the junior senator from Minnesota was actually not aware of President Barack Obama's exact proposals due to scheduling conflicts on Wednesday.
"He was in a meeting yesterday morning during the President’s press conference and then held a press avail directly after the meeting concluded, prior to being informed of the President’s proposals," the aide told TPM in an email Thursday.
According to the aide, Franken's statement was provided to the Post-Bulletin but it was not published in the newspaper's original report. The Post-Bulletin has since updated the report.
“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 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.”