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. Evening update: Tropical Storm Harvey forms in Atlantic, second wave follows

    Hurricanes

    UPDATE: At 8 p.m. the National Hurricane Center said a hurricane hunter plane had determined that Tropical Storm Harvey had formed with sustained winds of 40 mph.

    Three tropical waves are expected to strengthen as they move across the Atlantic Ocean. [Courtesy of the National Hurricane Center]
  2. Trump 'beautiful statues' tweets roil Tampa Bay's own Confederate debate

    National

    It started Thursday at 9:07 a.m., as it does so often these days, with a tweet:

    The Memoria in Aeterna Confederate monument stands in front of the old Hillsborough County Courthouse. Hillsborough County Commissioners voted 4-2 last month to move it to a private cemetery in Brandon before voting again this week to put a deadline on a public sector fundraising campaign to pay part of the cost. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  3. Rays waste repeated opportunities in 5-3 loss to Blue Jays

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Rays manager Kevin Cash made a case for urgency before Thursday's game, in both actions and words, making significant changes to the structure of the lineup and sincere comments about time running short.

    Trevor Plouffe of the Rays reacts as he pops out with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. [Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]
  4. Spanish PM voices solidarity with Barcelona

    World

    BARCELONA, Spain — Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says his country is mourning in solidarity with the city of Barcelona and other cities in Europe that have been hit by deadly extremist attacks.

    An injured person is treated in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 after a white van jumped the sidewalk in the historic Las Ramblas district, crashing into a summer crowd of residents and tourists and injuring several people, police said. [Associated Press]
  5. Confederate statue: Why Bucs, Lightning, Rays took a stand

    Bucs

    They didn't want another Charlottesville.

    Marc Rodriguez, a member of the "Florida Fight for $15" organization, stands in protest along with other activists demanding the Confederate  monument be removed from the old Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]