Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine), a conservative Democrat, reversed his previously held opposition and said on Thursday that he now supports an assault weapons ban following a mass shooting in his state.
“I have opposed efforts to ban deadly weapons of war like the assault rifle used to carry out this crime,” Golden said at a news conference in Lewiston, Maine. “The time has now come for me to take responsibility for this failure, which is why I now call on the United States Congress to ban assault rifles.”
Golden said he would work with “any colleague to get this done in the time that I have left in Congress.”
His reversal won immediate praise from fellow Democrats, including those who have called for tight gun restrictions.
He spoke alongside a fellow moderate, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who called for a ban on “very high-capacity magazines — I think that would have more input and more effectiveness.”
“There’s always more that we can do,” she said.
Officials have saidat least 18 people were killed in a series of mass shootings Wednesday in the area. Law enforcement officers had surrounded a house near Bowdoin, Maine, on Thursday night and were calling for anyone inside to surrender.