WASHINGTON – Rep. Tom Reed (R-Corning, NY 23) is holding firm to his belief that the federal government should not ban the AR-15 or any other assault-style rifle.
Reed, who represents Chautauqua County in the House and who’s received an “A+” rating from the National Rifle Association, said he is in full support of Second Amendment rights.
During a conference call with regional media on Tuesday, Reed again said that lawmakers need to focus on public policy that addresses mental illness and other causes of gun violence, rather than just outlaw or restrict gun access to law abiding citizens.
“In some of the most heinous crimes the consistent theme is people with mental disease. That’s the commonality in those situations. Obviously they’re horrific and they need to be dealt with and that is why that needs to be a priority,” Reed said. “But if you look at the other perpetrators, a lot of the gun violence is perpetrated by criminals, by repeat offenders, by people that are involving weapons in drug activity. So that is why this is a bigger issue that just one item of banning X-weapon and infringing on the second amendment rights of everyone else. This is about trying to really move the needle and solving the problem of what is causing this gun violence in the first place.”
The Corning Republican also didn’t shy away when asked about campaign contributions he receives from the NRA and other groups that want to fight gun legislation.
“We do have support from folks who stand with us on the Second Amendment. So that doesn’t surprise me that those types of donations would be some how identified in regards to the NRA support – things that we have received over the years,” Reed said. “The bottom line is, my position on the Second Amendment is the position I have had and I will continue to hold. I think because of that position, that gathers support in terms of people that will stand with us in regards to campaign contributions and elsewhere.”
According to a report from WGRZ, Reed of Corning has collected $10,950 from the NRA since first being elected in 2010.
Reed’s comments came nearly a week after a former student at a Broward County, Florida high school shot and killed 17 people, using an AR-15 rifle. The rifle is also the model that was used in the Las Vegas shooting on Oct. 1, 2017 that left 58 people dead and 851 injured.