- Breaking News Staff
Two days after breaking from the National Rifle Association and calling for stricter gun control measures, U.S. Rep. Brian Mast called on President Donald Trump and congressional leaders to temporarily ban purchases of the AR-15 assault weapon.
Mast, R-Park City, was on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday and said Trump should employ an idea similar to the “travel ban” — the controversial halt to travel from predominantly Muslim nations which has been held up by American courts.
The AR-15 was used in the recent shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people died on Feb. 14. It was also used in mass shootings in Orlando and Las Vegas.
Mast said the ban should be in place until Congress can pass a more long-term solution addressing school security, law enforcement failures and mental health.
“For me personally,” Mast said, “it pains me to know that I went out there willing to defend my country—willing to give everything — with almost the exact same weapon that is used to go out there, and unfortunately, kill children here in Parkland. And I think there’s a very real opportunity here for response and for action.”
On Friday, Mast wrote an opinion piece in The New York Times, saying he supports a ban on assault weapons, expanding background checks for gun sales and raising the minimum age of gun purchasers. He also said he opposes modifications, called “bump stocks,” that turn semi-automatic rifles into fully automatic ones.
The move showed a change in position for Mast, who had been a staunch opponent of gun control when he ran for the U.S. house in 2016.