Cong. Mike Ross, a Democrat who has chaired the Sportsmen Caucus in Congress, said he thinks the time has come to reform gun laws surrounding assault weapons. His successor, Republican Tom Cotton, disagreed.

Ross is retiring from Congress after 12 years. Cotton will be sworn into office in early January to his first term.

Peter Urban with Stephens Media reports that Ross said his change of heart stems from the tragedy of the Sandy Hook school shootings.

“This is not the same America that I grew up in, and I think it is time to address whether there really is a legitimate need for high-capacity weapons that can shoot, you know, a lot of rounds of ammunition,” said Ross.

“I think past notions that any change at all in gun laws is a foot in the door – I think it is time we get beyond that,” he said. “America has changed. Unfortunately, it is a different place than when we were children. And, we need some common sense reforms.”

Rep.-elect Tom Cotton, a Republican from Dardanelle, said Wednesday that Congress should focus on the mental health system in response to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He is opposed to any new gun regulations, saying that there are “enough already on the books.”

You can read the full report here.

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