Hours after NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre called for armed police officers in every school in America, Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, voiced support for the plan, as long as the decision is made locally.
"There are some schools that will find a solution best by having an armed person there who’s passed the appropriate background checks and I would support that," Chaffetz told Andrea Mitchell Reports Friday. "But I wouldn't necessarily say that every school has to do this. It has to be a local decision." Chaffetz added that he would not want the federal government to make those decisions.
Asked whether he would be open to controls on semiautomatic weapons, Chaffetz said, "I will have an open mind on anything. But I'll tell you, I'm as rock-solid on the Second Amendment as there is. We had an assault weapons ban. It didn't really do anything." Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a co-author of the lapsed 1994 assault weapons ban, has vowed to bring new legislation to the floor on the first day the Senate meets in January.
Chaffetz, a concealed carry permit holder and gun owner himself, told Mitchell, "Guns aren't for everybody, but as a constitutional right, you should be able to access those weapons."
As many call for stricter gun laws, many gun advocates are pressing the the need to strengthen mental health services and reporting. "If you really want to get to the broader root of the problem, I think you have to tackle the mental health side of this," Chaffetz told Mitchell.