Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former Gov. Charlie Crist shifts on guns, supports new restrictions

WASHINGTON — Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who throughout his long political career has been staunchly pro-gun rights, said Wednesday that after the Connecticut school slayings, he now backs controls.

He expressed support for a renewed assault weapons ban, a size limit on ammunition clips and tougher background checks.

"We need to have some restrictions, that's pretty obvious to most people," Crist told the Tampa Bay Times prior to testifying before a Senate panel on voting laws. "What do you need a 30-clip magazine for? Not to go hunting deer. I can tell you that because I hunt deer."

Crist recently became a Democrat and is considering a challenge to Gov. Rick Scott, who long has favored gun rights. Scott has refused to comment on gun measures after the Connecticut shootings, saying it is too early to debate.

As recently as 2010, when Crist was running as a Republican for U.S. Senate, he accused rival Marco Rubio of being soft on guns and supporting a waiting period and background checks that were already in state law.

In 2006, Crist painted his GOP gubernatorial rival Tom Gallagher as "anti-gun," and highlighted an endorsement from the National Rifle Association. He appointed NRA favorites to the state Supreme Court and signed into law a bill allowing concealed weapons permit-holders to bring their guns to work — as long as the weapons remained in their vehicles. He also fought legislative efforts to tap into the concealed weapons permit trust fund.

Reminded Wednesday of his past and asked what changed, Crist replied: "We had a wake-up call."

Crist, who last week said he now regrets supporting a Florida ban on gay marriage, will certainly face questions about his convictions if he decides to run for governor in 2014. He defended the shifts.

"It says I'm a guy who is willing to listen, I'm willing to learn. I hope that we all are. I think life is a learning experience and the older you get the more wisdom you can accumulate. ... I have an open mind."

Former Gov. Charlie Crist shifts on guns, supports new restrictions 12/19/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 9:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. St. Petersburg police investigating why civilian employees accidentally fired AR-15 semiautomatic rife inside HQ

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — An internal police investigation is looking into two civilian employees who accidentally fired a round from an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle inside St. Petersburg Police Department headquarters.

    The St. Petersburg Police Department is investigating an incident in which two civilian employees accidentally fired an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle they brought inside police headquarters. Department rules prohibit civilian employees from bringing weapons into police facilities.
  2. A 12-foot pilot whale washes ashore on Siesta Key

    Environment

    A 12-foot-long beached pilot whale appeared on the shore of Point of Rocks Beach in Siesta Key early Friday morning, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

    The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office responded to a 12-foot whale washing ashore early Friday morning. (Sarasota Sheriff's Office)
  3. Trump signs 'VA accountability' bill, as Gus Bilirakis watches

    Blogs

    WASHINGTON - Rep. Gus Bilirakis was among a group of lawmakers on hand to see President Trump sign a "VA accountability bill that will make it easier to dismiss problem employees.

  4. In this June 18, 2012, file photo President Barack Obama and Russia's President Vladimir Putin, left, go to shake hands during their bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico. [AP photo]
  5. Gradebook podcast: Charter school fraud, budget woes and more

    Blogs

    School districts across Florida have been grappling with financial concerns they contend lawmakers did not improve with a new state education budget. Reporter Marlene Sokol joins reporter Jeff Solochek to discuss the problems as they're manifest in Hillsborough County, which has local woes beyond anything the state has …

    Hillsborough School Board member April Griffin has been asking pointed questions about the district's budget.