It may be the most popular talking point the Republicans and Donald Trump try to use against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton: If she’s elected President, she’s gonna take away all the guns! They’ve said it for eight years about President Obama, and yet everyone still has all the guns they want and then some.
But what are the facts on where the former Secretary of State stands on the Second Amendment and gun rights? Let’s take a closer look and find out.
The 1990s and Early 2000s
Clinton was a strong supporter of the Brady Bill and in 1993 told New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley that she was “all for” his legislation which would have levied 25% tax on handguns and $2,500 licensing fees for gun dealers. She also had this to say on Bradley’s bill, which never became law:
“Speaking personally–and that’s all I can do with respect to your second proposal–I’m all for that. I just don’t know what else we’re going to do to try to figure out how to get some handle on this violence.”
In 1999, shortly after the Columbine massacre in Colorado, Clinton gave a speech to the National Education Association in which she said:
“It does not make sense for us at this point in our history to turn our backs on the reality that there are too many guns and too many children have access to those guns–and we have to act to prevent that.”
Clinton entered the Senate in 2001 and backed Democratic bills which would have required the registration of all new guns, requiring photo IDs and safety lessons for all new gun owners, and increasing the minimum buying age for handguns from 18 to 21.
The 2008 Presidential Campaign
At a debate in April 2008, Clinton seemed to have softened her stance some, commenting:
“What might work in New York City is certainly not going to work in Montana. So, for the federal government to be having any kind of blanket rules that they’re going to try to impose, I think doesn’t make sense.”
When Obama made a comment in the 2008 primaries about how some in rural America “cling to guns or religion,” Clinton had this to say in response:
“You know, my dad took me out behind the cottage that my grandfather built on a little lake called Lake Winola outside of Scranton and taught me how to shoot when I was a little girl. Some people now continue to teach their children and their grandchildren. It’s part of culture. It’s part of a way of life. People enjoy hunting and shooting because it’s an important part of who they are. Not because they are bitter.”
Clinton has been taking a more progressive stance on gun control since declaring for the White House this time. She has called for a ban on the sale of assault weapons, as well as the closure of the “Charleston loophole. That’s a reference to a law which allowed Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof to obtain his firearms. Closing that loophole would mean extending the window for FBI background checks to take place on gun purchases.
The Democratic nominee recently said this in regard to gun rights in the United States:
“I’m not looking to repeal the Second Amendment. I’m not looking to take people’s guns away. But I am looking for more support for the reasonable efforts that need to be undertaken to keep guns out of the wrong hands.”
That hardly sounds extreme. It merely sounds sane.
This article was originally published by the same author at Liberal America.org