Republican lawmakers in tight races now embrace gun control measures

Don Bacon, a first-term congressman for Omaha, Nebraska, is one of those lawmakers facing what is shaping up to be a hard-fought race in November’s congressional elections. After a former student shot dead 17 people at the Florida high school, he expressed support for tighter restrictions on Americans’ ability to buy and own guns.

In social media posts and interviews, he departed from the message of the National Rifle Association, which is a major donor to the Republican Party and has given Bacon one of its highest ratings.

Bacon said he was working on legislation to raise penalties for illegal gun buyers. He also wanted to improve background checks and allow law enforcement officers to temporarily seize firearms from people believed to be dangerous, after those people are allowed to contest the claims against them.