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Updated Jan 10, 2013 - 12:44 pm

Arizona legislator taking more open approach on guns

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick was a supporter of gun
owners’ rights when she first served in Congress, but the recently re-elected
Flagstaff Democrat is not making blanket statements supporting all such rights
since the December school shooting in Connecticut.

Kirkpatrick wrote in a recent guest column for a Tucson newspaper that
“everything should be on the table,” including assault weapons laws, the
Arizona Daily Sun newspaper reported Thursday.

“The mass shooting in Connecticut has launched our nation to a new level of
grief and outrage. It’s all painfully familiar to Southern Arizonans. As a
former prosecutor and congresswoman _ and as a mother _ I know we must act. Our
children’s safety is at stake,” Kirkpatrick said in the column in The Arizona
Daly Star.

Kirkpatrick served one term in the U.S. House before losing a re-election bid
in 2010 to Republican Paul Gosar.

Gosar ran for re-election in a different district in 2012 following
redistricting, and Kirkpatrick beat Republican Jonathan Paton in November to
return to Congress.

Kirkpatrick represents the largely rural 1st Congressional District in northern
and eastern Arizona. The district, which is considered competitive between
Democrats and Republicans, runs from Flagstaff and the Navajo Nation on the
north to outskirts of Tucson in the south.

Kirkpatrick said in 2010 that she opposed bans on some types of weapons and she
called firearm ownership a fundamental right.

“I think people should be able to legally purchase and carry the gun that they
want,” she told a caller to a radio show in 2010.

During a public call-in meeting that she held in 2010, Kirkpatrick said she
opposed bans on some types of firearms, opposed District of Columbia and Chicago
laws barring private ownership of some types of guns, and supported allowing
guns in national parks.

“It may be more important than ever to protect the right to bear and keep
arms, because too many people in Washington right now do not share or understand
our values,” Kirkpatrick said in a 2010 prepared statement.


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