SIOUX FALLS | Any potential gun control legislation must be tailored for each state and not be a one-size-fits-all approach, but include certain conditions, U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson said Tuesday.
"We in South Dakota have far fewer problems with guns than they do in New York or New Jersey and it makes common sense to not have one size fits all," Johnson told a group of reporters gathered at his office in Sioux Falls for a news conference.
Johnson, a Democrat who considers himself a hunter, said any bill introduced should be comprehensive and include measures on gun control, mental health, background checks and more.
Johnson said he is awaiting a set of 19 executive proposals to be released by President Barack Obama on Wednesday. The proposals will come a little over a month since the massacre of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
"I believe in the Second Amendment, and I'm a hunter, myself, but I think something should be done, but what, I don't know," Johnson said.
But, Johnson added, any legislation in Congress about gun control should be second to discussions about the debt ceiling, which has to increase by the end of February or the country could face a potential default on its debt.
"The debt ceiling comes first. After all, the debt ceiling came up the first of January and we're living on borrowed time," he said.
Johnson said he has not made a decision about whether he will seek re-election in 2014 and will not make one until the spring.
"We need to see if I feel like I can still do a good job. I have been elected and re-elected for 36 years without defeat and for me, that's a question of is that enough or should I go on?" he said.
Former Republican Gov. Mike Rounds announced in November that he will seek Johnson's seat in 2014.