'This Week' Transcript: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

REID: George, let's look at this with our brains, but also I think we need to look at it with our hearts. I mean, I have seen how things have changed in Nevada. When I was a boy there, we had very few Hispanics. Now more than 40 percent of the children in a school district in Clark County, Las Vegas, Nevada, of 330,000, over 40 percent of them are Hispanic kids. I've seen the DREAMers come to me and explain to me, "We're Americans. We know no other country." My heart says we have to do this.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You're also right at the center of the gun debate, which is also pulling on a lot of hearts in America, as well, and so many, including the National Rifle Association president David Keene, are wondering where you stand right now on the issue of gun legislation.


KEENE: He's under incredible pressure right now, so what -- where Harry Reid ends up in this debate is anybody's guess.


REID: Well, I think that's good. But let me just give you a little background here. I had guns from the time I was a little boy. I don't hunt anymore, but I did. I've got lots of guns. I keep them for sentimental reasons.

But I'm a police officer, right over here is my badge. I was a police officer. I carried a gun. That's what I did to put myself through law school. My dad killed himself, shot himself with a gun, committed suicide, so I know a lot about guns. And there are things that I think we need to do.

I have said to Senator Leahy, I want a bill to come out of the Judiciary Committee. I want you to hold hearings. I want to go through the regular process. I want you to have a bill that allows us, when it's brought to the floor, to start offering amendments. If Dianne Feinstein, by the time it's through the Judiciary Committee, if she doesn't have her assault weapons, at least let her have an opportunity to offer this amendment.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Will you vote for it?

REID: Oh, I don't know. I frankly -- and she knows I haven't read her amendment. I didn't vote for the assault weapons last time because it didn't make sense, but I'll take a look at it. I think that we need to take a look at federal trafficking. I think that everyone acknowledges we should do something with background checks.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Universal background checks?

REID: Yeah, I think we -- yeah, we need to increase that. I'm still a supporter of the Second Amendment, but you can do things like that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: How about restrictions on high-capacity magazines for ammunition?

REID: I think that's something we definitely have to take a look at.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Take a look or vote for?

REID: Well, let's see what it is. Let's see what it is. You know, I -- I know that there are restrictions that people have had forever as to how many bullets you can have in a weapon. For example, if you want to hunt waterfowl, you have to plug that so you only shoot three times in a row. Sure, there are things we can do. And I'm happy to take a look at it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And on the assault weapons ban, you said the one you voted against didn't make any sense. But there have been independent studies which showed that, when that ban was in place, the number of crimes using military-style assault weapons went down and, when it expired, they went up.

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