Harry Reid Reverses Position on Assault Weapons Ban; Decries Conspiracy Theories

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) reversed his position on a ban on military-style assault weapons, coming out in favor of such a ban during a floor speech on Wednesday.

This represents a major reversal for Reid which came only hours before votes were slated to begin on amendments to the gun legislation. Speaking before the Senate, Reid said on Wednesday:

“We can and should make the same common sense approach to safeguard Americans from modern weapons of war, assault weapons. That’s why I will vote for Dianne Feinstein’s assault weapons ban, because we must strike a better balance between the right to defend ourselves and the right of every child in America to grow up safe from gun violence.

I’ll vote for the ban because maintaining the law and order is more important than satisfying conspiracy theories who [believe in] black helicopters and false flags."

The assault weapons ban had been stripped out of the base legislation, but will be voted on as an amendment. The National Rifle Association strongly opposes the measure, and the amendment is expected to fail.

In 2004 when the assault weapons ban expired, Reid had voted against renewing it.

ON Tuesday afternoon,however, Reid signaled that his views had been changed by the string of mass shootings in recent years. Reid also said on Wednesday that protecting police officers and innocent victims is "more important than preventing imaginary tyranny." Reid added:

“The United States military is not out to get us. Federal law enforcement, local police departments are not out to get us. These conspiracy theories are dangerous and they should be put to rest.”

In addition to coming out in favor of an assault weapons ban, Reid also came out for a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines, stating:

“My reason for wanting a ban on large capacity magazines in similar. These clips are designed to kill, not to kill a deer or a duck or any other animal large or small, they’re designed to kill humans — living, breathing human beings.”