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Sen. Portman Offers Conditional Support For Some Gun Control Measures

Ohio U.S. Senator Rob Portman
J. Scott Applewhite
Associated Press
Sen. Rob Portman

Sen. Rob Portman, who has benefited from more than $3 million in NRA spending, says he’s open to some gun-control measures.

Portman says he has supported expanding background checks for gun purchases, and it might be appropriate to see Ohio’s 30-round limit on magazines duplicated nationwide. He also says it might be time for lawmakers to take on so-called bump stocks – which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more like machine guns.

“I think it might be time to take that to the legislative side and make it explicit the ATF does have the authority to ban the bump stocks,” Portman says.

Portman also says he’s open to the idea of raising the age for purchase of rifles.

“There is an argument to be made that young people between 18 and 21 are involved in many of these tragic shootings we’ve been hearing about,” Portman says. “And if that something that we can show through evidence will make a difference, it’s something we ought to look at.” 

Portman has received nearly $20,000 in contributions from the NRA since 2010, and gun-rights groups have spent $3,061,941 in total on his behalf – the eighth most among sitting House and Senate members.

Following the Florida massacre, protesters called for Portman to donate those contributions to victims of gun violence.