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A year after shooting, Sen. Jeff Flake says his gun views have shifted

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz. walks toward media gathered at the scene of a shooting at a baseball field in Alexandria, Va., Wednesday, June 14, 2017, during a Congressional baseball practice where House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of La. was shot. (AP Photo/Kevin S. Vineys)

PHOENIX — A year after seeing a colleague get shot during a congressional baseball practice, U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) acknowledged the incident impacted his views on gun control.

“It’s moved me,” Flake told the Associated Press.

The Arizona Republican said he now supports restrictions on high-capacity magazines, for instance, “but that hasn’t come up” in debate.

Still, “there’s been a shift” for him personally, he said.

There may not be any more chances for Flake to express his changed views in a Senate vote. He’s in the final year of his term and isn’t running for re-election.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana suffered life-threatening injuries on June 14, 2017, after a gunman opened fire on the Republican team while it was practicing for the annual Congressional Baseball Game.

The gunman was shot and killed by Capitol Police officers on the scene.

The 2018 game is Thursday night, exactly one year after the shooting, at Nationals Park in Washington.

The GOP team held an initial practice this year at the field in Alexandria, Virginia, where the shooting occurred, but has since moved to a separate field in Washington with increased security.

Flake shared a photo last week of Scalise back at practice.

Unlike Flake, Scalise said the shooting “deepened my appreciation for the Second Amendment because it was people with guns who saved my life and every other member out there.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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