Sen-elect Joe Donnelly, pro-gun Democrat, now open to gun control measures
December 17th, 2012
08:27 PM ET
10 years ago

Sen-elect Joe Donnelly, pro-gun Democrat, now open to gun control measures

Washington (CNN) - Another pro-gun Democrat who has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association told CNN Monday that he's open to looking at new legislation to tighten gun laws in the wake of the school massacre in Connecticut on Friday.

U.S. Rep. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana, who will replace retiring GOP Sen. Dick Lugar, told CNN said he's committed to looking at legislation to address the shooting.

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"You know, I'm a Dad too. My kids are a little older now, but I think of when they were 6 and 7 years old, and I think we have a responsibility to make sure this never happens again,” Donnelly told CNN as he left the House floor shortly after members had observed a moment of silence for the victims.

Earlier on Monday, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat and a longtime member of the NRA, said he's changed his position and now supports gun-control legislation.

Donnelly has broken with Democrats in the House on gun measures in the past and has earned the support of the NRA in previous campaigns for his Indiana House seat.

Asked whether he could support California Sen. Dianne Feinstein's legislation aimed at banning assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition, Donnelly didn't answer directly, but said: "I think there's a discussion beginning. I heard Senator Manchin this morning, and I think everybody's willing to listen and be part of that discussion."

"What I want to make sure is that nothing like this ever happens again. We're going to begin that discussion over in the Senate side very soon, and I'll be a part of that discussion," Donnelly said.

Filed under: Gun rights • Joe Donnelly
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Dave Blackburn


    December 17, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  2. Roger

    A conversation? sure

    December 17, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  3. Pete

    You have too many gun advocates now changing their minds after this horrific incident that left all of America shocked..The NRA has been mum about this as always when something negetive comes out from guns or people who use them..Now the NRA can't use their lobbying power to turn the tide against them because its to widespread nationally and children's lives were involved..Now they have no choice but to help or take a chance that their membership in the future because of their extreme positions on weapons will suffer significantly,its not sitting popular right now so they better be quiet or they'll see what comes of their association and board members in Norris,Nugent ,Norquists,Selick and others,they definitly don't need negetive publicity do they after this massacre!!

    December 17, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    Pass gun-control. Enough lobby in democratic state.

    December 17, 2012 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  5. randy

    Yes we need to abolish the 2nd amendment. This will be America's toughest war yet as gun owners are like drug addicts. But banning the sell,use and manufacturing of guns and ammo is not enough as there are hundreds of millions of guns on the streets already. We need to create legislation to abolish the 2nd amendment and the 4th along with it. Without the 4th amendment in the way law enforcement and the government will effectively be able to locate most of the guns in America and also this would help law enforcement out on the war on drugs as well. There is no reason any citizen should own a weapon period in this day and age and well if you do not want to be searched including your home,car,any property you own for that matter you more than likely have something to hide and the government should label you a domestic terrorist .

    December 17, 2012 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  6. plain&simple

    The tide is turning in our country and that change will stir up lots of raw emotion. We need courageous and determined effort from our leaders as well as involvement from all the people's of this democracy..Being vocal and resolute will make a difference and recognizing our history and our right to own guns is understandable. So It's encouraging to see voices of reason speak out. The loud raw voices will not be the ones of reason!!! I would think even the most ardent gun owner would want to see only responsible ownership of guns and to say criminals will buy guns illegally or steal them is true....but at least if no one is allowed to have weapons of mass destruction ............( assault weapons) then only criminals will have them and therefore very easy to identify. The mentally ill won't be able to find them either because the weapons won't be as prevalent.

    December 17, 2012 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  7. Larry L

    How many Republicans are willing to draw "fire" from the N.R.A.? Do they ever do anything just because it's really the right thing to do?

    December 17, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    And that's why you don't vote for a Democrat, they'll roll on your rights as soon as it's convenient.

    December 17, 2012 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  9. Tiffaniesa

    The wacko that did this screwed it up for everyone else who owns assault weapons and even handguns. When something like this happens, we all ask "who would do something like this?" especially to kids. Our reply "some crazy guy."

    Umm, CNN "Autism not to blame", ok so we all blame the NRA and guns, but we can't blame crazy people, because in reality some sane person won't do this. You have to be really messed up in the head to shoot innocent little kids and how are not going to argue he was not right in the head.

    Jump on the band wagon like Donnelly here and call for bans on assault weapons, lame. Taking assault weapons away will not change anything.

    December 17, 2012 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  10. Roger

    Gun control is useless and can only at best disarm the innocent and make them easy prey for the criminals!

    You can't solve problems by passing laws. You can only solve problems by studying and assessing the problem!

    Please read the Dick Act of 1902 in relation to the second ammendment. Does a convicted felon after release not have the right to defend his home and his person.

    Can we depend on the police to protect us? WE CANNOT for it is not possible!

    December 18, 2012 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  11. Name lynn

    we all are waiting on how this gun law going to work

    December 18, 2012 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
  12. Mk

    Republican breaking away from Grove Naroquoist; Gun supporters now breaking away from the NRA; Chang IS coming to America... Sadly it takes a fiscal cliff and 27 innocent lives for the giant of America to wake up... I truly hope it doesn't go to sleep again before he is fully awake.

    December 18, 2012 03:41 am at 3:41 am |

    Thanks to the Akin/Murdoch right wingnuts,we will have gun control.

    December 18, 2012 05:56 am at 5:56 am |
  14. GuestToo

    Here we go again, more federal laws on the books and they wont fix anything. Do immigration laws work? Drug laws? Border security? Our penal system? The only thing our government consistently accomplishes is wasting precious resources and fining/taxing Americans for more money to financially support the same. We have the ACA disaster that will unfold shortly, we use police resources to hand out parking tickets instead of apprehending criminals like drug dealers, illegal aliens, etc., we use border patrol and federal authorities for something other than securing our border and deporting illegals obviously, so please, tell me what more laws will do....NOTHING. Gun laws dont fix psychiatric problems.

    December 18, 2012 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  15. The NRA is a T e r r o r i st organisation....Arming Mentally Unbalanced People to Kill Innocent Children

    Being a pro-gun advocate is just relaxing gun laws and arming people to kill innocent babies!!!

    Adam Lanza mom was an NRA member with multiple guns, but she still got killed....who say guns dont kill people? Maybe if she doesn't own guns, she would be alive come Adam Lanza mom couldn't defend herself and kill her evil son murderer....instead of unleasing that demon terror on our innocent babies?

    The NRA is a T e r r o r i st organisation....Arming Mentally Unbalanced People to Kill Innocent Children!!!!!....

    Kill the NRA before they kill our innocent Children!!!!

    December 18, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |