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Ohio's Portman Offers Conditional Support for Some Gun Control Measures

Portman says raising the gun-purchase age limit may be appropriate if research supports it.
Portman says raising the gun-purchase age limit may be appropriate if research supports it.

Ohio Republican 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 o the legislative side and make it explicit the ATF does have the authority to ban the bump stocks.”

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. 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 the gun-rights group spent more than $3 million on his behalf.

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M.L. Schultze
M.L. Schultze came to WKSU as news director in July 2007 after 25 years at The Repository in Canton, where she was managing editor for nearly a decade. She’s now the digital editor and an award-winning reporter and analyst who has appeared on NPR, Here and Now and the TakeAway, as well as being a regular panelist on Ideas, the WVIZ public television's reporter roundtable.