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GOP Congressman Who Supported Gun Rights Now Backs Banning Military-Style Weapons After Daughter Was Near Shooting

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GOP Congressman Who Supported Gun Rights Now Backs Banning Military-Style Weapons After Daughter Was Near Shooting

2019-08-07 14:22:021 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Mike Turner (Image Source: Public domain)

Sometimes it just takes things to be too close to home to make you view them differently. Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) has supported gun rights and the Second Amendment in the past, but after the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, this weekend, not to mention the one in El Paso, Texas, he has switched gears and is now supporting legislation that bans the sale of military-style weapons to civilians.

In the past, Turner regularly was awarded a 93 percent rating from the National Rifle Association for his support. This year alone he voted against two House measures that would strengthen the background check system for gun sales and has been known to back gun-rights measures in his nine terms as a congressman. 

On Saturday when a shooter opened fire in the crowded streets of Dayton and killed his sister and eight others, Turner's daughter was across the street. Luckily, she was uninjured.

In a statement the congressman said he'll support legislation that will limit magazines and "red flag" legislation to take guns away from those deemed dangerous by police. 

"I strongly support the Second Amendment, but we must prevent mentally unstable people from terrorizing our communities with military-style weapons," he said in his statement.

"The carnage these military-style weapons are able to produce when available to the wrong people is intolerable," said Turner, who also called for "red flag" laws, noting, "too often after mass shootings, we hear that there were early warning signs that were ignored." 

He said in his statement that he knows not every shooting can be prevented by these measures he is now supporting, "but I do believe these steps are essential."

Turner is a member of the House Armed Services and Government Reform committees. Prior to being elected to the House, Turner was the mayor of Dayton from 1994 through 2002. He practiced law in the Dayton area before becoming mayor. 

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, also a Republican, served in the House for eight years and was then Ohio's lieutenant governor for nearly four years. He followed this with serving as a senator for 12 years and as Ohio attorney general for eight. He took office as governor in January of this year.

To contract Turner, he has repeatedly received an F rating from the NRA and co-sponsored a 2004 amendment to renew the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. He was one of only two GOP senators to vote against banning lawsuits against gun manufacturers, distributors, and dealers. He was the first Senate candidate to be endorsed by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence in 2006. 

DeWine released a list of measures this week with a goal of fighting gun violence, including support for red flag laws.

Turner said in his statement that the Dayton shooting "must become a catalyst for a broader national conversation about what we can do to stop these mass shootings." 

He added that he will discuss his support for these issues with Donald Trump when he visits on Wednesday.

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