This story will be updated.
LEWISTON, Maine — A day after deadly mass shootings in his home city, U.S. Rep. Jared Golden of Maine’s 2nd District said Thursday he supported the kind of assault weapons ban that he has opposed so far during his time in Congress.
It was a major reversal from the Democrat from a rural district won twice by former President Donald Trump. Golden’s opposition to gun control led the National Rifle Association to take no side in his 2022 election for a third term against former Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin.
On Wednesday, 18 people were killed and another 13 were injured in shootings at a bar and bowling alley in Lewiston, the state’s second-largest city. It was the worst shooting event in Maine history and one of the worst in the U.S. in the last few years. The suspect, Robert R. Card II of Bowdoin, is at large with a massive manhunt continuing into late Thursday.
The tragic events moved Golden to switch his position quickly in a news conference at City Hall on Thursday alongside Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican. He admitted to having “a false confidence that our community was above this” and said he was wrong to oppose Democratic efforts to ban so-called assault weapons and limit magazine sizes in the past.
“For the good of my community, I will work with any colleague to get this done in the time that I had left in Congress,” Golden said.
Last year, the Maine congressman was one of five Democrats to oppose a bill advanced after mass shootings in Texas and New York that would have raised the age limit for purchasing a semi-automatic rifle and prohibit the sale of magazines holding more than 15 rounds. After that, he opposed a ban on certain semi-automatic weapons.