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Coburn: All Guns are Assault Weapons

ar15 177 rifle.jpg
Flickr (Creative Commons)

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) told a crowd at an Oklahoma City town hall that a .45-caliber handgun with 10 rounds in it is no different than an AR-15.

“There isn’t a gun that’s made that isn’t an assault weapon,” he said after one man recommended a ban on military-style assault guns.

After answering several questions last week related to controlling firearms, Coburn told the nearly 150 people in the room that he wouldn’t answer any more questions about guns.

“What I’m trying to do right now is both protect the Second Amendment and the 10th Amendment for Oklahoma if we want to do something different,” Coburn said.

The Republican Senator said he has drawn opposition from conservatives in Oklahoma for even talking with Democrats on a Senate gun bill.

A report on the Huffington Post says Coburn has been keeping communications open with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to try and expand background checks for gun purchases that would protect a private gun sellers’ privacy.

But the Oklahoma Senator, as reported in the New York Times and CNN Politics, may be losing some of his influence in the negotiations:

On the federal level, Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma is concerned that the Senate bill could lead to record keeping of gun owners and gun sales. He has been in talks with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, about a compromise, but with nothing promising on the horizon, Democrats have turned to another Republican, Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, according to sources familiar with the talks.

"I'm for enhanced background checks because it's a way for you to go online to make sure you're not selling your gun to someone you wouldn't want to have it," Coburn told a town hall crowd.

The Senator wants a national system that would use a federal agency or law enforcement instead of relying on firearms dealers with federal licenses. One of his concerns is that records of gun sales could lead to a national firearm registry.

President Barack Obama is set to deliver a speech Monday night in Hartford, CT, not far from where 20 children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

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