During a town hall on CNN on Wednesday, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) expressed support for preventing 18-year-olds from buying rifles, banning bump stocks, expanding the amount of information in the background check system, and funding threat assessment initiatives for schools and opposed banning assault weapons.
Rubio stated, “I absolutely believe that in this country, if you are 18 years of age, you should not be able to buy a rifle. And I will support a law that takes that right away.”
He continued, “I will support the banning of bump stocks. And I know that the president has ordered the attorney general to do it, and if he doesn’t, we should do it by law. I will support changing our background system so that it includes more information than it includes now, and that all states across the country are required or incentivized to report all the information into it.”
Rubio further stated “[L]ast year, when we came up with our budget in the Senate, I pushed for, and got approved, $50 million a year, through the Sandy Hook Initiative, to provide a Threat Assessment Fund for all states to be able to stand up in each of the school districts, a way to identify people who could potentially do this and get ahead of it before it happens. I support moving forward on that initiative and making it widely available for everyone around the country.”
Rubio then stated he doesn’t support a ban on assault weapons and such a law would not have prevented the Parkland shooting. He elaborated, “I believe that someone like this individual [the Parkland shooter] and anyone like him shouldn’t have any gun, not this gun, any gun. But I want to explain to you for a moment, the problem with the law that they call the Assault Weapons Ban. … First, you have to define what it is. If you look at the law and its definition, it basically bans 200 models of gun[s] in this — about 220 specific models of gun[s], okay? But it makes — it allows legal 2,000 other types of gun that are identical. Identical in the way that they function, in how fast they fire, in the type of caliber that they fire, in the way they perform, they are indistinguishable from the ones that become illegal. And the only thing that separates the two types is if you put a plastic handle grip on one, it becomes banned. If it doesn’t have a plastic handle grip, it does not become banned.”
He further argued that when assault weapons bans have been enacted, people can easily get around them, and the focus should be on keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and the deranged.
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