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.
The Maine Democrat says he must take responsibility following the mass shooting in his state and now opposes the weapons.