Romney did say those things but it is important to take a closer look at his record. He was not yet in office and so did not sign the 1998 MA AWB into law.
In 1998 the Massachusetts legislature passed its own more restrictive assault weapons ban (MGL Chapter 140, Section 131M). This ban did not rely on the federal language, was not tied to the federal AWB, and contained no sunset clause.
Gun owners did not have the votes in the MA legislature (85% anti-gun democratic) in 2004 to get rid of the permanent state law. Not wanting to lose all of the federal exemptions that were not in the state law, Gun Owners’ Action League (the Mass. based pro-2A group) worked with Romney and a new bill was amended to include them and that‘s what Romney signed. If Romney did not sign that bill, the more restrictive AWB would still be in place today.
Some media confused the Fed AWB and the MA AWB and mistakenly reported that the MA AWB was set to expire in 2004 and Romney signed the AWB permanently into effect. Some on GT are using that to misrepresent his record, revise history and convince gun owners to turn against Romney.
Let's look at the rest of Romney's record:
Throughout the 4 year Romney Administration he met and worked with GOAL and no anti-second amendment or anti-sportsmen legislation made its way to the Governor’s desk. In addition, he removed any anti-second amendment language from the Gang Violence bill passed in 2006, and signed five pro-second amendment bills into law.
By 2008, Romney earned a B from the NRA, which is higher than Obama ( F), Hillary (F) or McCain (C+ ).
Romney‘s entire record:
If we take a quick look at the other candidates gun records it might appear they are pro-gun control:
Santorum - a 16-year public record. He supported the 1997 Domestic Violence Offender Gun Ban and it passed into law. In 2005, Santorum voted to force gun manufacturers to make locks on all handguns produced (fortunately it failed to pass).
Paul has spent 23 years in Congress. He voted NO on prohibiting frivolous product misuse lawsuits on gun manufacturers.
Reference: Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act; Bill S 397 ; vote number 2005-534 on Oct 20, 2005
Paul voted NO on decreasing gun waiting period from 3 days to 1.
Reference: Bill introduced by McCollum, R-FL; Bill HR 2122 ; vote number 1999-244 on Jun 18, 1999
Gingrich has been on both sides in his long career.
The fact is that all the GOP candidates have flaws but all have voted pro-gun plenty of times, all of them have become more pro-gun over time, all of them are campaigning 100% pro-gun now and all of them are far better for gun-owners than Obama.
Statements do not amount to a position, a record does. Check the candidates records carefully for yourself and make up your own mind.