Utah GOP Sen. Mike Lee rejects banning assault-style rifles

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee says there’s no way to ban or buyback AR-15-style assault rifles like the kind used by a shooter at a Florida high school last week without also banning hunting rifles.

He made the comments Thursday in response to a question a Utah state senator posed as part of Lee’s annual appearance before the Legislature.

Democratic state Sen. Jim Dabakis asked Lee why the guns are needed and how school children can be safe when the weapons are available.

Lee questioned how it would improve safety by banning the sale or production of an entire category of weapons and questioned how the government could buy-back or confiscate the guns that people already own.

He said only law-abiding people would comply leaving criminals with most of the weapons.

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