Romney open to new gun measures like 'enhanced background checks'

Mitt Romney said Friday that the nation must act swiftly to address the scourge of gun violence, stating that he was ...

Posted: Feb 18, 2018 2:16 PM
Updated: Feb 18, 2018 2:16 PM

Mitt Romney said Friday that the nation must act swiftly to address the scourge of gun violence, stating that he was open to tougher measures like "enhanced background checks" if they would help keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill.

"What happened is unthinkable and unimaginable," he said after offering prayers for the victims of the Florida shooting. "We must take action to prevent tragedies like this from happening again."

Speaking at a fundraising dinner held by Utah County Republicans in his first official appearance as a U.S. Senate candidate, Romney said he hoped to see the state generate innovative solutions for stopping school shootings, rather than the federal government.

Romney did not endorse any one legislative solution, noting that none of the federal legislation that he's read would have prevented the tragedy. One possible exception, he said, is the legislation that retiring Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch has proposed for enhanced background checks before gun purchases.

Speaking to reporters after the event, however, Romney said he had not yet studied that legislation -- and would hold off from endorsing it until he'd had a chance to do so.

The former Massachusetts governor, who is running to replace Hatch, said he believed states like Utah should investigate ideas like school building security measures, police and volunteer patrols, and the creation of "intervention teams" that would go into schools when a student demonstrates disturbing or violent behavior.

Romney said state legislatures should also consider "age or psychological restrictions on gun purchases."

"We can't just sit and wait and hope and expect things are going to get better," he said.

In keeping with the low-key tone of his video announcement on Friday, Romney did not deliver formal remarks to members of the Utah County Republican Party. Instead, he opted to read and answer questions that had been submitted by the audience.

When he outlined the issues he would tackle in Washington, he clicked through a slide presentation that he had prepared as he discussed job growth, the national debt and curbing carbon emissions.

The 2012 Republican presidential nominee was relaxed and self-effacing, joking about his past campaigns and the fact that he would have no seniority in Washington.

"I want to dispel the rumor that I only ran for President as a stepping stone to become the senator from Utah," he quipped as a he warmed up the crowd.

Later, he said he would have no problem serving as Utah's junior senator: "At my age, being called junior is a compliment."

After speaking with reporters at the end of the night, Romney -- who once traveled in a fleet of SUVs with a full Secret Service detail -- stepped into his pickup truck and drove off alone.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 954230

Reported Deaths: 15474
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1298902003
Lake638781106
Allen54326765
Hamilton44326448
St. Joseph42368592
Elkhart33998491
Vanderburgh30740451
Tippecanoe27012251
Johnson23862420
Hendricks22576343
Porter21943348
Clark17657231
Madison17628387
Vigo16465285
Monroe14637193
LaPorte14493241
Delaware14291225
Howard14058274
Kosciusko11562137
Hancock11022168
Warrick10793179
Bartholomew10730171
Floyd10584209
Wayne10169230
Grant9271206
Morgan9000160
Boone8507112
Dubois7823124
Dearborn776391
Henry7749134
Noble7510101
Marshall7452129
Cass7244118
Lawrence7080154
Shelby6701111
Jackson666386
Gibson6233107
Harrison613287
Huntington608397
Montgomery5903106
DeKalb587591
Knox5589105
Miami554889
Putnam547668
Clinton540566
Whitley534054
Steuben506570
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Jasper487763
Jefferson478992
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Adams448868
Daviess4267109
Scott413065
Clay398358
Greene396892
White396158
Wells393285
Decatur391297
Fayette383380
Posey364341
Jennings358857
Washington336847
LaGrange327375
Spencer323037
Randolph320290
Fountain320156
Sullivan311349
Owen289764
Starke287565
Fulton282356
Orange279259
Jay260038
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Carroll247129
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Parke222421
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Pike214041
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Pulaski170351
Crawford148519
Newton147046
Benton144716
Brown136646
Martin130618
Switzerland127810
Warren116116
Union99511
Ohio80911
Unassigned0494

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1393696

Reported Deaths: 21820
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1544531574
Cuyahoga1364632341
Hamilton991581326
Montgomery682681161
Summit571661051
Lucas51927869
Butler48223663
Stark42502983
Lorain32263539
Warren30544338
Mahoning27651643
Clermont26123297
Lake24920422
Delaware22656147
Licking20886246
Fairfield20833223
Greene20708275
Trumbull20465516
Medina20236290
Clark18277332
Richland16793236
Portage16501231
Wood16002209
Allen14459261
Miami14091261
Muskingum13019155
Wayne12306244
Columbiana12094242
Tuscarawas11297271
Marion10960150
Pickaway10675129
Scioto10618127
Erie9905171
Ross9685177
Lawrence9005125
Hancock8667143
Ashtabula8533187
Belmont8301188
Geauga8294156
Jefferson7785175
Huron7598131
Union745351
Washington7451126
Athens712965
Sandusky7003135
Darke6906137
Knox6876122
Seneca6551137
Ashland6095115
Auglaize598788
Shelby5867104
Brown579072
Mercer566790
Crawford5603117
Defiance5587101
Madison552571
Highland551782
Fulton544583
Clinton537681
Logan521987
Preble5131111
Putnam4915107
Guernsey489464
Williams471582
Perry466254
Champaign456664
Ottawa444684
Jackson438763
Pike402645
Morrow400551
Coshocton398069
Fayette385253
Adams373675
Hardin369470
Gallia357858
Henry332969
Holmes3328111
Van Wert323271
Hocking312570
Wyandot286858
Carroll268252
Paulding248843
Meigs225542
Monroe193449
Noble174942
Morgan171229
Harrison161941
Vinton143119
Unassigned05
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