SALT LAKE CITY — Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jenny Wilson took aim Wednesday at Republican Mitt Romney's "tepid" response on gun violence in the wake of the Florida school shooting.
Wilson, a Salt Lake County Council member, made it clear that she supports the Second Amendment but favors an assault weapon ban as well as an overhaul of background checks, including for expanding checks for gun shows and the online market.
Student survivors at the Parkland, Florida, high school have called for action, clarity and integrity in protecting their lives, she said.
"A generation has been raised in shooter drills and fear. All victims of gun violence — and sadly those who will face it in the future — deserve action from politicians," Wilson said.
In a speech last week, Romney said states — not the federal government — are the best places to find solutions for school violence. State legislatures could consider building security measures, police or volunteer patrols at schools, intervention teams that would go when there is a child that has a "particularly disturbing nature" and "age and psychological" restrictions on gun purchases.
"I haven't seen proposed (federal) legislation with regards to guns that would have prevented the attacks that have occurred, so just passing legislation that might make you feel a little better but doesn't really do anything is not something I favor," he told reporters after speaking at a Utah County GOP fundraiser last Friday.
Romney said he does like Sen. Orrin Hatch’s proposal for an enhanced background check program.
Wilson said she would expect a "seasoned politician with two presidential runs under his belt" to offer something more than letting states deal with the issue.
“Mitt Romney’s tepid response last week regarding gun violence not only represented a reversal of his position but reflects yet another Romney contradiction on a critical issue,” she said.
Wilson criticized Romney's changing stances on gun issues over the years, pointing to his previous support for an assault weapons ban and not lining up with the National Rifle Association while running for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts in 1994 and later serving as governor of that state.
Romney later joined the NRA and received its endorsement during the 2012 presidential election.
The Romney campaign did not immediately respond for comment.