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Coats, Stutzman against Obama gun-control plan; Donnelly undecided

Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., said Wednesday he opposes President Obama's plan for restoring a ban on military-style assault weapons.

"As we learn more about the president's proposals, we must not punish responsible gun owners," Coats said in a statement after Obama announced legislative proposals and executive orders designed to curtain gun violence. "I will not support legislation or executive actions that would affect gun ownership rights for law-abiding citizens, including any assault weapons ban."

He did not specifically mention Obama's call for universal background checks for gun buyers or a prohibition of ammunition clips that hold more than 10 bullets.

In 1993, Coats joined a majority of senators in approving a 10-year ban on semiautomatic assault weapons and high-capacity ammo magazines.

Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, also objected to Obama's recommendations in general and an assault-weapons ban in particular.

"The Obama Administration has a long track record of advocating policies that infringe on the liberty and freedom of the citizenry and, unfortunately, today’s proposals follow the same pattern.," Stutzman said in a statement.

During a Wednesday afternoon visit to Fort Wayne, freshman Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., declined to say whether he will support Obama's gun-control proposals.

"I want to see what the legislation says," he told reporters after he toured the local Raytheon plant.

He did say, "I don't see how anybody could be against background checks."

But asked whether those should include gun-show sales, Donnelly replied, "Well, we're going to go through all that and see what parts of legislation come up."

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