State Rep. Dan Muhlbauer, D-Manilla
State Rep. Dan Muhlbauer, D-Manilla
State Rep. Dan Muhlbauer, D-Manilla, this afternoon issued a statement walking back earlier remarks supporting of confiscation of certain firearms he advocated banning. Muhlbauer said the gun-seizure comments, made during a Dec. 19 interview with The Daily Times Herald, do not represent his opinion.

The Crawford County cattleman said he "let my emotions get the best of me and, to use an old saying, I put my foot in my mouth."

Muhlbauer added, "Let me be clear, I don't want anyone who legally has a gun to have it taken away. As a gun owner and hunter myself, I respect the Second Amendment and the rights of other gun owners."

The lawmaker did not retreat from a position calling for more gun-control measures.

"At the federal level, I do believe a ban on military-style assault weapons should be part of the discussion," Muhlbauer said in today's statement.

The following is Muhlbauer's complete statement.

"In light of an article in the Carroll newspaper regarding Newtown, Connecticut, last month, I want to address my comments on the terrible tragedy.

I have grandkids in elementary school and the deadly school shooting left me numb at first, and then angry. Like all of you, I want to do all I can to protect our children, especially at school, and prevent this from ever happening again.

As I did the interview over the phone just before Christmas, my seven grandkids were all around me. Being a father and grandfather, it was an emotional time seeing the images of Sandy Hook on television with my grandkids around. I let my emotions get the best of me and, to use an old saying, I put my foot in my mouth.

Let me be clear, I don't want anyone who legally has a gun to have it taken away. As a gun owner and hunter myself, I respect the 2nd Amendment and the rights of other gun owners.

At the federal level, I do believe a ban on military-style assault weapons should be part of the discussion. Also, as I mentioned in the interview, we've got to find a way to improve mental health services so people can get the help and support they need before resorting to violence of any kind. We've also got to improve efforts to keep guns out of the hands of people who we already know are mentally ill.

We should also work with our local schools to improve safety. Some have suggested armed guards and metal detectors at schools and I'm interested to hear what our teachers, parents and law enforcement think about that idea.

I've heard from extremes on both sides of this issue who believe we are doing too much and others who believe we are not doing nearly enough.

I do believe it's time to have a respectful conversation in our community about these terrible tragedies without demonizing one another or letting the extremes on either side dominate the debate.

To that end, I will do a better job myself. I will continue to listen and work hard for District 12."