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Rubio says banning semiautomatic rifles is 'well outside' mainstream

Sen. Marco Rubio is defending his stance against a ban on semiautomatic rifles after he signaled an openness to limit...

Posted: Feb 22, 2018 12:37 PM
Updated: Feb 22, 2018 12:37 PM

Sen. Marco Rubio is defending his stance against a ban on semiautomatic rifles after he signaled an openness to limited gun control measures at a CNN town hall on school shootings.

"Banning all semi-auto weapons may have been popular with the audience at #CNNTownHall, but it is a position well outside the mainstream," the Florida Republican tweeted early Thursday morning.

He added, "Wonder if media will ask politicians demanding #GunControl if they support popular sentiment at #CNNTownHall for ban of all semi-auto rifle?"

Rubio made news on Wednesday when he said he would support legislation to prevent an 18-year-old from buying a rifle and that he is reconsidering his support for large-capacity magazines.

The only Republican lawmaker on stage Wednesday night, Rubio argued against banning the AR-15, the weapon Nikolas Cruz used to kill 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week.

"It's not the loopholes. It's the problem that once you start looking at how easy it is to get around it, you would literally have to ban every semi-automatic rifle that's sold in America," Rubio said, to which the crowd erupted into cheers seemingly in support of a ban.

"Fair enough, that is a valid position to hold, but my colleagues do not support banning every semi-automatic rifle sold in America," Rubio argued.

Rubio was responding to Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch's argument to "bring up the assault weapons ban and close all those loopholes."

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