Incoming Republican congressman signals openness to gun control
By Justin Sink - 12/28/12 11:30 AM ET
An NRA-backed incoming congressman from Utah said Friday he would be open to a discussion of some gun-control measures in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shooting.
"I would consider looking at some of the larger magazines and other things if it gave us an opportunity to talk about the other things as well," Rep.-elect Chris Stewart told The Salt Lake City Tribune. "Let’s talk about the big picture."
Stewart said that "big picture" must include increased outreach and treatment for those suffering from mental illness.
Last week, President Obama tapped Vice President Biden to lead a working group tasked with developing concrete legislative proposals to combat gun violence, to be presented by the end of January. At a meeting with law enforcement officials last Thursday, Biden said the group would work to find "a comprehensive way in which to respond to the mass murder of our children that we saw in Connecticut."
Stewart also said proposals to arm schoolteachers were "a bad idea," saying "a lot of people are not comfortable having armed guards at grade schools."
"Most of these teachers have no interest or no background that would give them any comfort at all being the primary source of defense," he said, adding that putting armed guards in the school would be expensive.
According to the newspaper, more than 150 Utah teachers and school employees took a free concealed weapons class on Thursday. According to The Associated Press, Utah is one of just two states where teachers are permitted to carry guns at schools.