Ind. Dem Donnelly opposing assault weapons ban - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Ind. Dem Donnelly opposing assault weapons ban

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Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly (D)

Freshman Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly is opposing a ban on assault weapons sought by President Barack Obama.

A Donnelly spokesman told The Associated Press Wednesday that the Indiana lawmaker will vote against the ban but has not decided whether he would support universal background checks.

Donnelly represents a key bloc of moderate to conservative Democrats the president must win over. The announcement also marks a key early stance from Donnelly just a few months after winning a state that went heavily for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in last year's election.

Donnelly called himself "a strong supporter of the Second Amendment" in a statement issued shortly before the Senate Judiciary Committee opened a hearing featuring testimony from National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre and former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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