Where Do They Stand
With 2012 fast approaching the, issue of the 2nd Amendment and gun rights has been on the back burner in the debates for the most part. Our nation has many issues of importance in the upcoming election and the winner of the presidency could have a big impact on our right of gun ownership. Where a candidate stands on one particular issue may not determine the way you vote but might tip the decision scale one way or the other.
Michele Bachmann – GOA (Gun Owners of America) grade A+
Michelle Bachmann has co-sponsored two pro-gun bills and supported two others while in Congress.
• S.1001: A bill to restore Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia
(Mar 27, 2007: Co-sponsored by Bachmann. The bill was designed to overturn the gun registration & trigger lock law in Washington)
• H.R. 197: National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2009
• S. 845: Respecting States Rights and Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2009
• H.R. 126: Fairness in Firearm Testing Act
(Jan 5, 2011; Co-Sponsored)
Bachmann also helped pass the Minnesota Personal Protection Act and legislation protecting gun ranges.
Rick Perry – GOA grade A
Rick Perry has been an advocate of the 2nd Amendment on the state level for many years now. Perry served in the United States Air Force and holds a concealed carry permit. Perry is against any form of gun control, and believes the emphasis should instead be placed on education of the public on the reality of gun use and legislations.
That’s why as governor, I have been proud to sign many pieces of legislation supported by the state affiliate of the NRA. We have protected Texas shooting ranges from junk lawsuits that tried to shut them down for making too much noise. We passed a law that allowed Texans to possess a handgun in a recreational vehicle. And because the NRA has done such a tremendous job promoting safety with the Eddie Eagle Gun Safe program, I signed a law that requires visiting resource officers in public elementary schools to offer to teach the program at least once a year. We have also worked hard to strengthen our right to carry law because it is a good law that has made our people safer… In Texas, we believe that people should have the right to protect themselves whether they have called Texas home for years or are just visiting for a few days. In the past year alone, Texas has more than doubled the number of reciprocity agreements with other states that allow citizens from other states to legally carry a concealed weapon here in Texas as well as allowing Texans to carry away from home. I’m committed to ensuring we have as many concealed handgun reciprocity agreements as possible with other states. So far we have 18.
April 12, 2005, Perry speaking at the National Rifle Association’s Annual Meeting, Houston
Perry drew both praise and criticism after an April 2010 jog when he shot and killed a coyote that was threatening his daughters Labrador retriever.
Mitt Romney – GOA grade D-
I believe we need to focus on enforcing our current laws rather than creating new laws that burden lawful gun owners. I believe in safe and responsible gun ownership and that anyone who exercises the right to keep and bear arms must do so lawfully and properly. I do not believe in a one-size-fits-all federal approach to gun ownership because people keep and use firearms for different reasons. Law-abiding citizens have a right to protect their homes and their families and as President, I will vigorously defend that right.
January 7, 2008, The Washington Post- Mitt Romney
Romney has seemed to reverse is stance on gun control from what it was early in his political career. Romney supported the Brady Bill and only two exemptions under Massachusetts’ strict gun laws: One for handguns already licensed in the state prior to October 21, 1998, and one for “match-grade” pistols. Other than those two exemptions handguns must pass the states “safety” criteria and you must have one of two licenses to carry a gun and only the class “A” allows concealed carry. The class “B” allows one to transport an unloaded gun to and from hunting areas and shooting ranges.
Newt Gingrich– GOA grade C
Newt Gingrich has a mixed record on gun issues. Gingrich did not vote for the Brady Bill, but did support the criminal Safe Zones Act. Prior to 1994 Gingrich had earned an “A” rating with Gun Owners of America.
As long as I am Speaker of this House, no gun control legislation is going to move in committee or on the floor of this House and there will be no further erosion of their rights.
The GOA rating quickly dropped to a “C”. Gingrich voted for the bill that included the Lautenberg Gun Ban. Gingrich said the Lautenberg Gun Ban was “a very reasonable position.” And refused to co-sponsor a repeal of the ban despite repeated requests.
Gingrich did however get a repeal of the Clinton Gun Ban passed through the House but it died in the Senate.
Ron Paul– GOA grade A+
Congressman Paul has long been on the side of the 2nd amendment. Introducing legislation to repeal the “Brady Bill” and the “Assault Weapons” Ban. Paul also authored legislation allowing pilots and specially trained law enforcement officers to carry weapons on airlines for protection of passengers. Paul introduced
H.R. 1096: Second Amendment Protection Act of 2007 to Congress.
Mr. Speaker, I rise to restore the right the founding fathers saw as the guarantee of every other right by introducing the Second Amendment Protection Act. This legislation reverses the steady erosion of the right to keep and bear arms by repealing unconstitutional laws that allow power-hungry federal bureaucrats to restrict the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
Specifically, my legislation repeals the five-day waiting period and the “instant” background check, which enables the federal government to compile a database of every gun owner in America. My legislation also repeals the misnamed ban on “semi-automatic” weapons, which bans entire class of firearms for no conceivable reason beside the desire of demagogic politicians to appear tough on crime.
Finally, my bill amends the Gun Control Act of 1968 by deleting the “sporting purposes” test, which allows the Treasury Secretary to infringe on second amendment rights by classifying a firearm (handgun, rifle, shotgun) as a “destructive device” simply because the Secretary believes the gun to be “non-sporting.
January 9, 2003, US House of Representatives
Ron Paul has stood firm on all 2nd Amendment issues since the beginning.
Rick Santorum – GOA grade B-
Rick Santorum is a defender of gun owners and gun manufacturers alike. Santorum voted in favor of 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act which prevents civil suits from being brought against gun manufacturers when their products are used in a criminal act.
Santorum is a lifetime NRA member and compared America’s gun owners as the “canary in the mineshaft” describing gun owners as the first victims of an ever encroaching government that is now targeting other liberties as well.
For those of you that own firearms, train hard and well and teach those that do not know how. Be good stewards of the right to bear arms, for we are the last line of defense against tyranny.
In addition to an A+ rating from the Gun Owners of America (GOA), Ron Paul also received the Defender of the Second Amendment Award from the GOA this year:
Bachmann also has a great record, and also has an A+ from GOA. Romney and Gingrich are not allies to Second Amendment rights, and finish last in GOA ratings.
Well, first, GOA isn’t what I’d call a reliable indicator of candidate ideology. Another example is the listing of S.1001 was NRA trying to moot D.C. v. Parker (sub nom Heller). Were that to have been successful, there would be no Supreme Court decision upholding the D.C. circuit’s decision that 2A is an individual right, and no McDonald v. Chicago follow-on case applying 2A to the states and local governments.
Ron Paul takes some outlandish view against incorporation doctrine; in essence, he feels that “states rights” are somehow of greater importance than fundamental individual rights.
My point is that just because someone sponsored a bill does not mean they have what’s best for the Bill of Rights in mind. Those sort of issues, I think, are important in discerning where candidates actually are.
Not sure where you got the A+ for Bachmann. GOA still has her as an A, not an A+. This has been all year. I thought maybe they changed it or something since you had that for her, but they haven’t.