Tags: Gun Control | Gun Rights | Mass Shootings | james lankford | against | assault rifle ban | pistols

Lankford: No Assault Rifle Ban, Maybe Stricter Background Checks

Image: Lankford: No Assault Rifle Ban, Maybe Stricter Background Checks
Sen. James Lankford, R- Okla. (Zach Gibson/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 18 February 2018 10:14 AM

Sen. James Lankford said Sunday he’s dead-set against a ban on assault-type rifles in the wake of the latest mass shooting in Florida — because “the problem is not owning an AR-15, it’s the person that owns it.”

In an interview on NBC News’ “Meet The Press,” the Oklahoma Republican said a better approach to the issue is “fixing our background check system to make sure that all the information is actually getting in there.”

“In this case, we have a lot of warning signs that were out there, and people in Parkland and all across the country have every reason to be grieved and incredibly furious,” he said. “I have no issue with more extensive background checks. I have no issue with slowing down purchases for people that show all the basic warning signs. “

But he pushed back on laws that would restrict or ban the purchase of assault-type rifles.

“There are three or four, five times as many crimes committed with a handgun than there are with a rifle, so we can have that conversation,” he said. “But when you look at the statistics, many, many, many more shootings occur with a pistol than they do with a rifle…. the pistol has still been the the weapon of choice for murderers.”

He insisted the AR-15 has been used by some as a hunting rifle, and “I think it's up to the individual.”

“The problem is not owning an AR-15, it’s the person that owns it,” he declared. “You're not going back to the how of what particular weapon is chosen, it's the why.”

On the latest indictment against 13 Russians and three Russian companies for trying to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 election, Lankford said it’s still "an open question" on whether Trump and his campaign is in the clear.

“And I hope that does get resolved quickly,” he said, adding “we expect [special counsel Robert] Mueller to also come out with his final report in the coming days.”

“It's not necessarily focused on clearing the president,” Lankford said of the latest indictment. “There are no accusations that anyone in the campaign was colluding. That's very true. When you read through the entire document, whoever is writing the document was trying to be very clear, these are Russians that were working to be able to interfere in our election, but no American was aware of that.”

Yet, he said, “it does” bother him that Trump hasn’t condemned Russia since the indictment was announced.

“Russia's clearly tried to advance their agenda into the United States,” he said.

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Sen. James Lankford said Sunday he's dead-set against a ban on assault-type rifles in the wake of the latest mass shooting in Florida - because "the problem is not owning an AR-15, it's the person that owns it."In an interview on NBC News' "Meet The Press," the Oklahoma...
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2018-14-18
Sunday, 18 February 2018 10:14 AM
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