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Updated Jan 10, 2013 - 12:43 pm

Arizona legislator taking more open approach on guns

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick was a supporter of gun owners' rights when she first served in Congress, but the recently re-elected Flagstaff Democrat is not making blanket statements supporting all such rights since the December school shooting in Connecticut.

Kirkpatrick wrote in a recent guest column for a Tucson newspaper that ``everything should be on the table,'' including assault weapons laws, the Arizona Daily Sun newspaper reported Thursday.

``The mass shooting in Connecticut has launched our nation to a new level of grief and outrage. It's all painfully familiar to Southern Arizonans. As a former prosecutor and congresswoman- and as a mother- I know we must act. Our children's safety is at stake,'' Kirkpatrick said in the column in The Arizona Daly Star.

Kirkpatrick served one term in the U.S. House before losing a re-election bid in 2010 to Republican Paul Gosar.

Gosar ran for re-election in a different district in 2012 following redistricting, and Kirkpatrick beat Republican Jonathan Paton in November to return to Congress.

Kirkpatrick represents the largely rural 1st Congressional District in northern and eastern Arizona. The district, which is considered competitive between Democrats and Republicans, runs from Flagstaff and the Navajo Nation on the north to outskirts of Tucson in the south.

Kirkpatrick said in 2010 that she opposed bans on some types of weapons and she called firearm ownership a fundamental right.

``I think people should be able to legally purchase and carry the gun that they want,'' she told a caller to a radio show in 2010.

During a public call-in meeting that she held in 2010, Kirkpatrick said she opposed bans on some types of firearms, opposed District of Columbia and Chicago laws barring private ownership of some types of guns, and supported allowing guns in national parks.

``It may be more important than ever to protect the right to bear and keep arms, because too many people in Washington right now do not share or understand our values,'' Kirkpatrick said in a 2010 prepared statement.

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