Call it the incumbent re-election plan . . .
Senator Angus King is up for re-election in 2018.
Which is probably why he made a statement about so-called “assault weapons” to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that left their jaws on the ground.
King is a registered Independent, who spent the last 5 years caucusing with Democrats.
He was a reliable vote on gun control during the Obama administration.
Now that he’s about to face voters, he’s sounding a much more sensible tone that many gun owners would find themselves agreeing with.
The Washington Times reports:
Sen. Angus King said Tuesday that assault weapons are nothing more than semi-automatic hunting rifles “in costume” and therefore shouldn’t be banned.
The Maine independent was asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program whether he thinks weapons such as the Ruger AR-556 rifle used by Texas church gunman Devin Patrick Kelley should be outlawed by the government.
“No, I think we’ve got to look at that carefully,” Mr. King said in a clip flagged by the Washington Free Beacon. “I’m from a state where we have one of the highest gun ownership rates in the country, and yet we have one of the lowest rates of gun crime. It’s called an assault weapon, but it’s simply a semi-automatic hunting rifle in costume, with a different type of stock. But the functionality of the weapon is exactly the same as … [ones] used by legitimate hunters.
“So I have a problem with banning a weapon because of its appearance,” he added.
Pro-gun advocates have sometimes sought to rebrand the debate over Dianne Feinstein’s so-called “assault weapons ban” as a “cosmetic features ban.”
Shirts and memes have circulated for years picturing an AR-15 with the caption, “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Black.”
So what do you all think? Is King’s statement just made to sure up his base before facing swaths of angry, pro-gun Maineiacs in 2018?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.