Flip Flop Romney attacks Weapons, AGAIN
Romney Supports Ban on Weapons of 'Extraordinary Lethality'
By Susan Jones
CNSNews.com Senior Editor
December 17, 2007
(CNSNews.com) - Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney was asked about his "retreat" on gun control Sunday, just one of the issues raised in his appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Host Tim Russert asked Romney about his earlier support for strong gun control laws, noting that in his 1994 Senate race againt Ted Kennedy, Romney backed two gun-control measures -- the Brady Bill with its waiting period on gun sales; and the renewal of a 1994 ban on "assault" weapons.
At the time, Romney said he didn't "line up with the NRA." But when he decided to run for president, Romney signed up for a lifetime membership in the National Rifle Association.
Romney on Sunday said that he did support the assault weapons ban. But he hedged on whether he's still for it: "Let me describe it," he said to Russert, as Russert pressed him to say whether he still supports the ban.
"I would have supported the original assault weapon ban," Romney said. "I signed an assault weapon ban as Massachusetts governor because it provided for a relaxation of licensing requirements for gun owners in Massachusetts, which was a big plus. And so both the pro-gun and the anti-gun lobby came together with a bill, and I signed that.
"And if there is determined to be, from time to time, a weapon of such lethality that it poses a grave risk to our law enforcement personnel, that's something I would consider signing. There's nothing of that nature that's being proposed today in Washington." But Romney said he "would look at weapons that pose extraordinary lethality."
Russert tried again: "So the assault ban that expired...because Congress didn't act on it, you would support?"
Romney noted that President Bush said he would have signed the bill if it came to his desk -- "and so would I."
In the next breath, Romney said he was "pleased to have the support of the NRA when I ran for governor. I sought it, I seek it now. I'd love to have their support. I believe in the right of Americans to bear arms."
(The National Rifle Association never endorsed Romney, the Washington Post reported on Monday. Romney's spokesman Kevin Madden told the newspaper, "Mitt Romney as a candidate received a respectable B grade rating from the NRA, and when he was governor he had the support of the NRA and the Gun Owners Action League in relaxing some of the state's burdensome licensing regulations." According to the Post, Madden's Democratic opponent in the 2002 governor's race had an "A" grade from the NRA.)
Romney said he supports background checks on gun buyers "to make sure that the crazies don't buy guns." But he said with today's technology, there's no need for long waiting periods.
"But my position is we should check on the backgrounds of people who are trying to purchase guns. We also should keep weapons of unusual lethality from being on the street. And finally, we should go after people who use guns in the commission of crimes or illegally, * but we should not interfere with the right of law-abiding citizens to own guns either for their own personal protection or hunting or any other lawful purpose."
* so says the man that was Governor of Massachusetts that allows the state to Deny Law-abiding citizen that right by allowing anti-gun CLEOS to deny an applicant for any reason that CLEO deems "unsuitable reason"