UPDATE: FOX 31’s Eli Stokols:
Udall, who released a broad statement last weekend issuing support for a national conversation about gun laws and mental health, but hadn’t answered questions about or taken a position on the specific proposals being advocated this week by President Obama and several Democratic lawmakers.
“I’ve been listening to Coloradans over the last week, I’ve been studying the laws that are in place. As I considered what happened in Aurora this summer and now Connecticut and the mass shootings in between, it just seems to me that guns that belong on the battlefield and are used to kill as many people as possible, that we ought to make sure they don’t get in the hands of people who want to commit these heinous crimes.
“I wanted to believe that the existing laws we have would be enough to prevent these tragedies, but experience tells us otherwise.”
A statement from Sen. Mark Udall’s office today:
“As a Coloradan who had school-age children during the Columbine shooting and grieved alongside the victims of the Aurora tragedy this past summer, I have been shaken to the core by last week’s mass shooting at the Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school. Families across our state have been deeply affected in a profound way, and it is an emotional time for us as a country. It is also a time that we must come together and have a serious discussion about concrete steps we can take to help prevent mass gun violence from happening ever again.
“A number of my colleagues in Congress have proposed ideas already, including banning assault weapons. We all recognize that Colorado and our nation have a long and storied tradition of gun ownership for hunting, outdoor recreation and self-defense. However, I am not convinced that combat weapons are necessarily part of that heritage. There are legitimate questions about the effectiveness of a ban on military-grade weapons, but I believe that a multi-faceted approach, including a ban on such weapons, can be crafted that works for Colorado sportsmen, preserves our heritage, and can and will help save lives. But the details matter, and I intend to work with law enforcement, sportsmen and anyone else who agrees that we must respect the Second Amendment while also keeping our children out of harm’s way. We simply must do everything we can to ensure these military-grade weapons are never in the hands of those who would turn them against their community.”