Ind. Dem Donnelly opposing assault weapons ban

    Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly comes out against an assault weapons ban.

    Posted on Jan. 30, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Jan. 30, 2013 at 2:23 p.m.

    INDIANAPOLIS — Freshman Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly is opposing a ban on assault weapons sought by President Barack Obama.

    A Donnelly spokesman told The Associated Press Wednesday that the Indiana lawmaker will vote against the ban but has not decided whether he would support universal background checks.

    Donnelly represents a key bloc of moderate to conservative Democrats the president must win over. The announcement also marks a key early stance from Donnelly just a few months after winning a state that went heavily for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in last year’s election.

    Donnelly called himself “a strong supporter of the Second Amendment” in a statement issued shortly before the Senate Judiciary Committee opened a hearing featuring testimony from National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

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