Morning Joe, 3/25/13, 7:21 AM ET

Casey: ‘After Newtown, I made a substantial shift in my positions’

Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., explains how his position on gun control has evolved amidst the criticism  of changes to the legislation and says “it’s time to act.”...

Sen. Casey: I want to be able to say, I did what I could to prevent the next Newtown

Updated

Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania spoke on Morning Joe about his own change of heart on gun control and the upcoming votes on gun control in the Senate.

“It’s time to act. I’m at the point now where you consider the future, and you have to kind of ask yourself, ‘What did you do when you had a vote?’ Maybe one vote, maybe there will be three amendments. But what did you do when you had the vote, because you may not have the vote every year. If you take a step now- even if it’s largely ineffective–but it could prevent one more Newtown 10 years, 50 years from now. I want to be able to say when I had that vote I moved in that direction.”


Up until the tragic shootings in Newton, Conn., in December, Sen. Casey was a strong supporter of the gun owners’ and buyers’ rights. He had earned an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association (though votes in favor of two Supreme Court justices dropped his grade to a B+). His change of heart followed the events in Newtown.

“With a high-powered rifle at a very close range putting multiple bullets in each of those 20 children, that’s enough to haunt a nation for decades,” Casey said shortly after the shooting. “If there is a bill, and I think there will be, coming before the Senate to ban those kinds of weapons, I’ll vote for it.”

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Sen. Casey: I want to be able to say, I did what I could to prevent the next Newtown

Updated