Incoming GOP congressman open to gun control

December 28, 2012

Rep.-elect Chris Stewart (R-Utah) is open to some gun control measures and opposed to armed guards in schools.

"I would consider looking at some of the larger magazines and other things if it gave us an opportunity to talk about" violence in general, he told the Salt Lake Tribune

The National Rifle Association has come out strongly against any new restrictions on guns in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. elementary school shooting. Instead, NRA President Wayne LaPierre argued that armed guards should be placed in schools to protect children. 

Stewart said that such guards would make people uncomfortable and be expensive. He also said arming teachers was a "bad idea," because most of them "have no interest or no background that would give them any comfort at all being the primary source of defense."

The incoming lawmaker was endorsed by and received $1,000 from the NRA in 2012.* Stewart easily beat Democrat Jay Seegmiller after Rep. Jim Matheson (D) moved to the state's new 4th district.

During winter break, more than 150 Utah teachers took a free class on how to carry and use a concealed weapon. According to the AP, Kansas and Utah are the only states to allow concealed weapons to be carried in schools.

Several NRA-backed Democrats have expressed openness to new assault weapons restrictions in the wake of the tragic shootings. A few Republicans -- including Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley and Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston -- have joined them.

* This report previously stated that the NRA did not endorse in the 2nd district. The NRA endorsed Stewart in October. 

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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Rachel Weiner · December 28, 2012