issues2000

Topics in the News: Assault Weapons


Elizabeth Warren on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Feb 26, 2020)
Treat gun violence as the public health emergency it is

We have to think of it the way we thought about auto violence decades ago. The point is, we tried; we studied; we collected data; and then we tried some more. Things that didn't work, we abandoned, and things that did, we doubled down on. That's what I want to see us do on guns. I want to see us do the things that are obvious, the background checks, get assault weapons off our streets. But I want us to treat this as the public health emergency that it is.
Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: CNN Town Hall on eve of 2020 South Carolina primary

Joe Biden on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Feb 7, 2020)
I pushed Brady Bill when other Dems voted against it

I come from a state that's a major gun owning state. I introduced the first assault weapons ban. I in fact got it passed. I'm the only guy that beat the NRA twice. While I was pushing the Brady Background Bill to check background checks, Bernie voted five times against that when he was in the House.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 8th Democrat 2020 primary debate, St. Anselm College in NH

Bernie Sanders on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Feb 7, 2020)
Changed views on gun control due to epidemic of gun violence

I lost a race for Congress, because in 1988 I said we should ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons. I am proud that today I have a D- voting record from the NRA. Under my administration it will be the American people doing gun policy, not the NRA. In Vermont until the last two years ago, we had no gun control legislation and I represented that perspective. The world has changed. People are sickened by mass shootings and gun violence. The world has changed, and my views have changed.
Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 8th Democrat 2020 primary debate, St. Anselm College in NH

Mike Bloomberg on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jan 20, 2020)
Ban assault weapons; hold gun industry accountable

Mike will reinstate the federal ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines; current assault weapons owners will be allowed to keep their guns but will have to report them to federal officials. He will require secure storage of firearms when they are not in use, which has been shown to reduce the risk of child gun injuries by up to 85 percent. He will also ban all guns in K-12 schools, colleges, and universities--except for law enforcement.

Mike's plan will repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) so that gunmakers and gun dealers will no longer have broad immunity from civil lawsuits. It will allow the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to treat guns like other household products so that the federal government will have the power to set safety requirements for gun technology. It will formally declare the gun violence crisis to be a public health emergency to expedite funds and research.

Click for Mike Bloomberg on other issues.   Source: 2020 Presidential campaign website MikeBloomberg.com

Kamala Harris on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Oct 15, 2019)
Mandatory buyback for 5 million assault weapons

Q: [to Elizabeth Warren]: you support a voluntary gun buyback of assault style weapons; why not a mandatory one?

Senator Warren: I want to use the method we used with machine guns. We registered them. We put in a huge penalty if you didn't register them and a huge tax on them and let people turn them in, and it got machine guns out of the hands of people.

Q: Senator Harris, you think the buyback should be mandatory?

Senator Harris: Five million assault weapons are on the streets of America today. During the course of this debate, eight people will die from gun violence. We need action, and Congress has had years to act and failed because they do not have the courage. When I'm elected, I'll give them 100 days to pull their act together, put a bill on my desk for signature and if they don't, I will take executive action and put in place a comprehensive background check requirement and ban the importation of assault weapons into our country, because it is time to act.

Click for Kamala Harris on other issues.   Source: October Democratic CNN/NYTimes Primary debate

Julian Castro on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Oct 15, 2019)
No mandatory buybacks--it means more cops banging on doors

Q: Sen. Warren supports voluntary buybacks of assault weapons; Sen. Harris supports mandatory buybacks. Rep. O'Rourke supports mandatory buybacks, but said police wouldn't be going door to door. Your opinion?

Julian Castro: There are two problems I have with mandatory buybacks. Number one, folks can't define it, and if you're not going to door to door, then it's not really mandatory. But also, in the places that I grew up in, we weren't exactly looking for another reason for cops to come banging on the door. And y'all saw a couple of days ago what happened to Tatiana Jefferson in Fort Worth: cops showed up at 2 in the morning at her house when she was playing video games with her nephew. He didn't even announce himself, and within four seconds he shot her and killed her through her home window. She was in her own home. And so I am not going to give these police officers another reason to go door to door, because police violence is also gun violence and we need to address that.

Click for Julian Castro on other issues.   Source: October Democratic CNN/NYTimes Primary debate

Joe Biden on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Oct 15, 2019)
I beat the NRA twice: AR-15s & high-capacity magazines

I'm the only one on this stage who has taken on the NRA and beat them twice. We were able to get assault weapons off the streets for 10 years. The way to deal with AR-15s and assault weapons is to do what we did with machine guns. You must register that weapon. I'm the only one that moved to make sure that we could not have a magazine that had more than 10 rounds in it. Go after the gun manufacturers and take back the exemption they have of not being able to be sued.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: October Democratic CNN/NYTimes Primary debate

Joe Biden on Assault Weapons: (Principles & Values Oct 15, 2019)
I'm the only Dem candidate who's gotten big things done

I'm the only one on this stage that's gotten anything really big done. From the Violence Against Women Act, to making sure that we passed the Affordable Care Act, to be in a position where we in fact took almost a 90 billion dollar act that kept us from going into a depression, putting us in a position where I was able to end the issue of gun sales, in terms of assault weapons. We all have good ideas. Who's going to be able to get it done?
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: October Democratic CNN/NYTimes Primary debate

Bill Weld on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Sep 24, 2019)
1990s: supported assault weapons bans

Click for Bill Weld on other issues.   Source: Business Insider background for 2019 GOP presidential debate

Bernie Sanders on Assault Weapons: (Government Reform Sep 12, 2019)
Keep filibuster and use other ways to pass laws

Q: Senator Warren, What can you get done on gun control?

WARREN: The mass shootings are terrible, but they get all the headlines. We have a gun violence problem. The question is when 90 percent of Americans want to see us do background checks, want to get assault weapons off the streets, why doesn't it happen? The answer is corruption. We have a Congress that is beholden to the gun industry. Unless we're willing to roll back the filibuster, we're not going to get anything done on guns.

Q: Senator Sanders, you've said if Donald Trump supports ending the filibuster, you should be nervous. Would you support ending the filibuster?

SANDERS: No. But what I would support is passing major legislation, the gun legislation, Medicare for all, climate change legislation that saves the planet. I will not wait for 60 votes to make that happen, and you can do it in a variety of ways. You can do that through budget reconciliation law.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston

Bernie Sanders on Assault Weapons: (Government Reform Sep 12, 2019)
Keep filibuster and use other ways to pass laws

Q: Senator Warren, What can you get done on gun control?

WARREN: The mass shootings are terrible, but they get all the headlines. We have a gun violence problem. The question is when 90 percent of Americans want to see us do background checks, want to get assault weapons off the streets, why doesn't it happen? The answer is corruption. We have a Congress that is beholden to the gun industry. Unless we're willing to roll back the filibuster, we're not going to get anything done on guns.

Q: Senator Sanders, you've said if Donald Trump supports ending the filibuster, you should be nervous. Would you support ending the filibuster?

SANDERS: No. But what I would support is passing major legislation, the gun legislation, Medicare for all, climate change legislation that saves the planet. I will not wait for 60 votes to make that happen, and you can do it in a variety of ways. You can do that through budget reconciliation law.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston

Elizabeth Warren on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Sep 12, 2019)
People support gun control but Congress is corrupt

The question we need to ask is, when we've got this much support across the country, 90 percent of Americans want to see us do--like registration--want to see us do background checks, want to get assault weapons off the streets, why doesn't it happen? And the answer is corruption, pure and simple. We have a Congress that is beholden to the gun industry.
Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston

Amy Klobuchar on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Sep 12, 2019)
Banning assault weapons will reduce fatalities

Q: Where do you stand on mandatory gun buybacks?

KLOBUCHAR: Everyone here favors an assault weapon ban. Everyone here favors magazine limitations, which, by the way, would have made a huge difference if that was in place in El Paso [in a recent mass shooting]. And certainly in Dayton, Ohio, where in 30 seconds, one man guns down innocent people. The cops got there in one minute, and it still wasn't enough to save those people.

Click for Amy Klobuchar on other issues.   Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston

Pete Buttigieg on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Aug 18, 2019)
Much work to enact measures that vast majority supports

Q: Why wouldn't you support mandatory buybacks of assault weapons?

BUTTIGIEG: I think we have got a lot of work to do right now on the basics, universal background checks, red flag laws, a ban on new sales of these assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, things that the majority, in many cases, the vast majority, of Americans support, that still haven't got done. I think we have got some fundamentals we have got to take care of. And

Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: CNN State of the Union interview for 2019 Democratic primary

Kirsten Gillibrand on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Aug 18, 2019)
Machine gun registration is framework for assault weapons

what you want to use is the current law that has placed different types of weapons, required registration, like machine guns. We did this in the past, and we made machine guns illegal. And, if you owned them, they had to be registered, and they had to have certain kinds of fingerprinting for anyone who owns it. So you can use the same framework.
Click for Kirsten Gillibrand on other issues.   Source: ABC This Week interview for Democratic 2020 Veepstakes

Mike Bloomberg on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Aug 11, 2019)
Gun laws effective but no one law will stop everything

No one law is going to stop everything, but there's just no question when you put in background checks, suicides with guns and murder rates go down. When you get rid of assault weapons you stop the mass murders. These are not public health things. This is too much of access to guns and particularly to assault weapons, which were designed to kill the maximum number of people as quickly as possible, and as gruesomely as you could possibly do it.
Click for Mike Bloomberg on other issues.   Source: CBS Face the Nation interview for 2019 Democratic primary

Pete Buttigieg on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jul 30, 2019)
What we're doing on gun violence isn't working

What we're doing hasn't worked because we haven't had a system in Washington capable of delivering what the American people want. 80, 90% of Republicans want universal background checks, not to mention common sense solutions like red flag laws that disarmed domestic abusers and flag mental health risks, and an end to assault weapons, things like what I carried overseas in uniform, that have no business in American neighbors in peace time, let alone anywhere near a school.

This is the exact same conversation we've been having since I was in high school. I was a junior when the Columbine shooting happened. I was part of the first generation that saw routine school shootings. We have now produced the second school shooting generation in this country. We better not allow there to be a third. We all know the right thing to do. They won't prevent every incident. They won't save every life. But we know what to do, and it has not happened.

Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: July Democratic Primary debate (first night in Detroit)

Steve Bullock on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jul 30, 2019)
Must address dark money to take on NRA

Q: Why can't Congress pass common-sense gun reforms?

Sen. Amy KLOBUCHAR: [The problem] is a political system that allows the NRA and other large, big money to come in and make things not happen when the majority of people are for. The people are with us now [against] the power of the NRA. As president, I will take them on.

Q: Governor Bullock, how can Democrats trust you to be the leader on this fight for gun safety when you only changed your position to call for an assault weapons ban last summer?

BULLOCK: Like 40% of American households, I'm a gun-owner. I hunt. We need to start looking at this as a public health issue, not a political issue. I agree with Senator Klobuchar. It is the NRA. And it's not just gun violence. It's when we talked about climate, when we talk about prescription drug costs, Washington is captured by dark money, the Koch brothers, and others. We're not going to address [the NRA's power] until we kick dark money and out of these elections.

Click for Steve Bullock on other issues.   Source: July Democratic Primary debate (first night in Detroit)

Michael Bennet on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jul 17, 2019)
Support a ban on assault weapons

Bennet on Assault Weapons: Support a ban on assault weapons.

NINE CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Joseph Biden, Jr.; Cory Booker; John Delaney; Kirsten Gillibrand; Kamala Harris; Amy Klobuchar; Bernard Sanders; Elizabeth Warren; Marianne Williamson.

Sen. Michael Bennet said during a CNN town hall that he "would support" banning assault weapons, despite voting against the proposed Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Click for Michael Bennet on other issues.   Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"

Steve Bullock on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jul 17, 2019)
Voluntary buyback, but locally, not federally

Bullock on Assault Weapons: Support a voluntary buyback program.

FIVE CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Peter Buttigieg; Julian Castro; Beto O`Rourke; Tim Ryan; Andrew Yang.

Bullock supports renewing the federal assault weapons ban. He says "the federal government can support communities that choose to conduct voluntary buybacks [of assault weapons]. While federal agencies can support local efforts, I do not believe a direct federal buyback program should replace these kinds of community-based efforts."

Click for Steve Bullock on other issues.   Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"

John Delaney on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jul 17, 2019)
Ban assault weapons & all high-capacity accessories

Delaney on Assault Weapons: Support a ban on assault weapons.

NINE CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Michael Bennet; Joseph Biden, Jr.; Cory Booker; Kirsten Gillibrand; Kamala Harris; Amy Klobuchar; Bernard Sanders; Elizabeth Warren; Marianne Williamson.

Sen. Michael Bennet said during a CNN town hall that he "would support" banning assault weapons, despite voting against the proposed Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Former Rep. John Delaney's campaign website calls for a ban on "semiautomatic weapons that have military-style features, including the AR-15," as well as a ban on "high-capacity magazines" and "all accessories designed to increase the rate of fire of a semiautomatic weapon, including bump stocks and trigger cranks."

Click for John Delaney on other issues.   Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"

Julian Castro on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jul 17, 2019)
Voluntary buyback, despite their mixed success

Julian Castro on Assault Weapons: Support a voluntary buyback program.

FIVE CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Steve Bullock; Peter Buttigieg; Beto O`Rourke; Tim Ryan; Andrew Yang.

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, as mayor of San Antonio in 2012, supported renewing the federal assault weapons ban following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Castro said during a CNN town hall that he supports "things like gun buybacks," adding: "I know that they have had mixed success, but I believe that in some circumstances that's a good policy, and that we can recover some weapons that shouldn't be out there on the street."

Click for Julian Castro on other issues.   Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"

Andrew Yang on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jul 17, 2019)
Voluntary buyback, plus high-capacity magazine ban

Andrew Yang on Assault Weapons: Support a voluntary buyback program.

FIVE CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Steve Bullock; Peter Buttigieg; Julian Castro; Beto O`Rourke; Tim Ryan.

Andrew Yang calls for the implementation of "a federal buyback program for anyone who wants to voluntarily give up their firearm." Yang stops short of a blanket assault-weapons ban, instead proposing a three-tiered licensing system for gun ownership. Under that system, first-tier licensees must pass a federal background check. Owners of semi-automatic rifles (second-tier weapons) must be at least 21 years old and pass an advanced firearm safety class. Owners of advanced and automatic weaponry (third-tier weapons) must submit their fingerprints and DNA to the FBI, submit to a gun locker inspection and undergo yearly refresher firearm training. Yang also calls for a ban on "high-capacity magazines."

Click for Andrew Yang on other issues.   Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"

Tim Ryan on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jul 17, 2019)
Voluntary buyback for assault weapons, plus a ban

Tim Ryan on Assault Weapons: Support a voluntary buyback program.

FIVE CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Steve Bullock; Peter Buttigieg; Julian Castro; Beto O`Rourke; Andrew Yang.

Rep. Tim Ryan said during a CNN town hall that he does "support an assault weapons ban," and a campaign spokesperson told POLITICO that Ryan "is in favor of voluntary buyback programs for assault weapons" that would allow the federal government to purchase those firearms back from gun owners.

Click for Tim Ryan on other issues.   Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"

Beto O`Rourke on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jul 17, 2019)
Voluntary buyback for assault weapons, plus a ban

Beto O`Rourke on Assault Weapons: Support a voluntary buyback program.

FIVE CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Steve Bullock; Peter Buttigieg; Julian Castro; Tim Ryan; Andrew Yang.

Former Rep. Beto O`Rourke supports an assault weapons ban, writing in an op-ed in The Houston Chronicle that such firearms "should remain on the battlefield where they belong." A campaign spokesperson told POLITICO that O`Rourke also supports a voluntary federal buyback program for assault weapons.

Click for Beto O`Rourke on other issues.   Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"

Pete Buttigieg on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jul 17, 2019)
Voluntary buyback, plus ban assault weapons

Pete Buttigieg on Assault Weapons: Support a voluntary buyback program.

FIVE CANDIDATES HAVE SIMILAR VIEWS: Steve Bullock; Julian Castro; Beto O`Rourke; Tim Ryan; Andrew Yang.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg calls for a ban on "military-style assault weapons," and a campaign spokesperson told POLITICO that Buttigieg "supports a new federal ban on assault-style weapons, as well as a voluntary buyback program for existing assault-style weapons."

Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: Politico "2020Dems on the Issues"

Joe Sestak on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jul 9, 2019)
Reform background checks to keep guns out of wrong hands

Sestak wishes to close the gun show loophole and re-institute the assault weapons ban. He also wants to make changes to National Instant Criminal Background Check System "to ensure guns stay out of the wrong hands."
Click for Joe Sestak on other issues.   Source: Townhall.com on 2020 Democratic primary

Joe Sestak on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jul 9, 2019)
Improve background checks; keep guns out of wrong hands

Sestak wishes to close the gun show loophole and re-institute the assault weapons ban. He also wants to make changes to National Instant Criminal Background Check System "to ensure guns stay out of the wrong hands."
Click for Joe Sestak on other issues.   Source: Townhall.com, 2019 interview series

Bernie Sanders on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jun 27, 2019)
Buy back assault weapons, and ban their sale

Sen. Bernie SANDERS: Assault weapons are weapons from the military and that they should not be on the streets of America.

Rep. Eric SWALWELL: Your plan leaves them on the streets. You leave 15 million on the streets.

SANDERS: We ban the sale and distribution [of assault weapons].

SWALWELL: Will you buy them back?

SANDERS: If the government wants to do that and people want to bring them back, yes.

SWALWELL: You are going to be the government, will you buy them back?

SANDERS: Yes.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami)

Pete Buttigieg on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jun 27, 2019)
Trained on military weapons: no place in civilian use

Q: You are the only person on this stage with military experience. Does that inform your thinking on gun control, or on assault weapons?

Mayor Pete BUTTIGIEG: We trained on some of these kinds of weapons. If more guns made us safer, we would be the safest country on earth. It doesn't work that way. Common-sense measures like universal background checks can't seem to get delivered by Washington, even when most Republicans, let alone most Americans, agree it's the right thing to do. As somebody who trained on weapons of war, I can tell you that there are weapons that have absolutely no place in American cities or neighborhoods in peacetime, ever.

V.P. Joe BIDEN: I'm the only person that has beaten the NRA nationally. I'm the guy that got the Brady Bill passed, the background checks. I'm also the only guy that got assault weapons banned, and the number of clips in a gun banned. Our enemy is the gun manufacturers, not the NRA, the gun manufacturers.

Click for Pete Buttigieg on other issues.   Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami)

Kamala Harris on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jun 27, 2019)
Executive action on gun control if Congress won't do it

The problem is Congress has not had the courage to act which is why when elected president, I will give Congress 100 days to bring all these good ideas together and put a bill on my desk for signature. If they do not, I will take executive action and put in place the most comprehensive background check policy we've had. I will require the ATF to take the licenses of gun dealers who violate the law. I will ban by executive order the importation of assault weapons.
Click for Kamala Harris on other issues.   Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami)

Beto O`Rourke on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jun 26, 2019)
Weapons of war belong on battlefield, not in our communities

Q: You're a Texan who's campaigned all over the state. What do you tell a gun owner who says the Democrats are going to take my gun away, how do you have that conversation?

O`Rourke: We talked about ending the sales of assault weapons into our communities. Those weapons of war were designed to kill people as effectively and as efficiently as possible. They should belong on the battlefield and not in our communities. Red flag laws, so if someone poses a danger to themselves or to someone else, they're stopped before it's too late. And what I found is that Democrats and independents and Republicans, gun-owners and non-gun-owners alike, agreed.

Click for Beto O`Rourke on other issues.   Source: June Democratic Primary debate (first night in Miami)

Bernie Sanders on Assault Weapons: (Crime Jun 23, 2019)
OpEd: Ambiguous record on 1994 crime bill

Sanders defended his vote as a compromise that included a ban on assault weapons. He voted in favor of one amendment allocating more money for prison funding, though 49 Democrats voted against it, including now Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The amendment gave $10.5 billion in grants to states for prison construction, one of the bill's most contentious legacies. As recently as 2006, Sanders' Senate campaign website cited his vote as the top example of his commitment to "tough on crime legislation."
Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: NBC News on 2020 Democratic primary

Howie Hawkins on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control May 28, 2019)
Background checks, ban assault weapons, "red flag" law

Our campaign is about aggressive action to reduce the off-the-charts gun violence in America. We respect the right of law-abiding adults to own pistols, rifles, and shotguns. But we demand basic gun safety measures to protect public safety, including universal background checks, a ban on the sale of and a buyback program for military assault weapons, and "red flag" laws to remove firearms with due process from individuals who may present an imminent danger to themselves or others.
Click for Howie Hawkins on other issues.   Source: Declaration of Candidacy for the Green Party Nomination

Steve Bullock on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control May 15, 2019)
Ban assault weapons

In a 2018 op-ed, Bullock described himself as "a gun owner who believes in the Constitution, yet also recognizes its limits." Bullock supports an assault weapons ban and "red flag" laws that allow law enforcement to temporarily take away guns from people who are a threat to themselves or others. He also supports universal background checks, a recent shift in his views: In 2016, his campaign spokesperson said he opposed them.
Click for Steve Bullock on other issues.   Source: PBS News Hour 2020, "Where the candidate stands on 9 issues"

Cory Booker on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control May 6, 2019)
14-part gun control plan, with criminal enforcement

Booker was asked on CNN about his gun control proposals: "Rep. Eric Swalwell has also, like you, proposed an assault weapons ban. He's proposing a buyback program where Americans could essentially sell these guns to the government, but if they don't, within a certain period of time, they would be prosecuted--thrown in jail, perhaps. Are you supportive of the same?"

Booker responded affirmatively that the law would be enforced with criminal sanctions after a "reasonable period." He had said earlier: "The critical thing is that these weapons of war should not be on our streets." Earlier in the day, Booker unveiled a 14-part gun control plan, which included a ban on assault weapons including high capacity magazines. "The biggest thing in the proposal is a national gun licensing program, which would force Americans to apply for 5-year gun licenses before obtaining a firearm. The process would include fingerprinting, an interview, gun safety courses, and a federal background check," Booker said.

Click for Cory Booker on other issues.   Source: Washington Examiner on 2020 Democratic primary

Eric Swalwell on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control May 6, 2019)
Assault weapon buyback program, with criminal enforcement

Cory Booker was asked on CNN about his gun control proposals: "Your competitor in the 2020 race, Congressman Eric Swalwell has also, like you, proposed an assault weapons ban. He's proposing a buyback program where Americans who currently have those guns could sell them essentially to the government, but if they don't, within a certain period of time, they would be prosecuted--thrown in jail, perhaps. Are you supportive of the same?"

Booker responded affirmatively that the law would be enforced with criminal sanctions after a "reasonable period." He had said earlier: "The critical thing is, I think most Americans agree, that these weapons of war should not be on our streets." Earlier in the day, Booker unveiled a 14-part gun control plan, which included a ban on assault weapons including high capacity magazines.

Click for Eric Swalwell on other issues.   Source: Washington Examiner on 2020 Democratic primary

Eric Swalwell on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control May 2, 2019)
National ban and buyback of semiautomatic assault weapons

Ending Gun Violence: No more turning a blind eye to American lives stolen by gun violence. We must enact truly universal background checks for all gun and ammunition purchases, do more to take guns away from domestic abusers, push states to adopt gun violence restraining order laws, and remove weapons of war from our communities once and for all. I'm the only candidate calling for a mandatory national ban and buyback of military-style semiautomatic assault weapons.
Click for Eric Swalwell on other issues.   Source: 2020 Presidential Campaign website EricSwalwell.com

Seth Moulton on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Apr 22, 2019)
For background checks & assault weapons ban

He supports universal background checks for gun buyers. "Congress has the ability and authority to eliminate the civilian sale of weapons of war. We have before, and we should again," his website reads. He has tweeted support for the March For Our Lives movement.
Click for Seth Moulton on other issues.   Source: Axios.com "What you need to know about 2020"

Eric Swalwell on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Apr 19, 2019)
Banning assault weapons does not mean broad gun ban

Swalwell said his call for a ban on assault weapons was not a step toward broader gun bans. "Keep your pistols,˙keep your long rifles, keep your shotguns." Swalwell said the ban would come with criminal consequences for people who did not participate in the buy-back, but suggested an "alternative, which would be to keep them at a hunting club or a shooting range. It's not just the violence they've caused, it's the fear. I want to get rid of that fear."
Click for Eric Swalwell on other issues.   Source: CNN Politics on 2020 presidential hopefuls

Eric Swalwell on Assault Weapons: (Families & Children Apr 10, 2019)
No firearms for people with history of domestic violence

Gun control: Ban assault weapons and institute a federal buy-back program. Swalwell has co-sponsored numerous gun control-related bills in Congress, including a bipartisan measure to expand background check requirements. In February, Swalwell introduced the "No Guns for Abusers" Act, which aims to keep firearms out of the hands of individuals with a history of domestic violence.

The congressman penned a USA Today op-ed last May calling for a ban on military-style assault weapons, and pushing for a federal buy-back program. (Swalwell's call for the weapons ban landed him on the cover of the NRA's magazine, "Freedom," with the headline "Gas Bag in the House.") The congressman reiterated his stance on guns at a town hall on ending gun violence in Sunrise, Florida, this week.

Click for Eric Swalwell on other issues.   Source: PBS News Hour on 2020 Democratic primary

Jay Inslee on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Apr 10, 2019)
Lost seat over assault weapons bill; confront NRA again

I've known that it is time to confront the NRA and develop commonsense gun legislation for a quarter of a century. In 1994, when I was a freshman legislator, I was representing eastern Washington. We needed just a few votes to pass the assault weapon bill. And I knew if I cast that vote, I was probably going to lose my seat in Congress. I voted for that bill. I provided one of the critical votes to get it over the top. I lost my seat. But I have never regretted that vote because I do not believe any congressman's or politician's seat is more important than any child's life. We are not going to back up against the NRA. We have them on the run. This country's moving forward to commonsense gun legislation. I'm glad to be part of that.
Click for Jay Inslee on other issues.   Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls

Eric Swalwell on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Apr 9, 2019)
Ban assault weapons, buyback for those out there

Plans for it to be his No. 1 issue on the campaign trail. During his first 100 days in office, Swalwell says he will push for a ban on military-style semi-automatic assault weapons. He also wants to enact a federal buyback of all 15 million assault weapons in the U.S.
Click for Eric Swalwell on other issues.   Source: Axios.com "What you need to know about 2020"

Eric Swalwell on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Apr 4, 2019)
After mass shootings, time to make gun control an issue

Swalwell will center his campaign on gun control. Helping him do that will be Cameron Kasky, a survivor of the February 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Swalwell has written about being inspired by the youth movement in his call to ban all assault weapons. "We are doing a town hall in Parkland," he told me. "And I do believe that gun safety has to be a top 2020 issue."
Click for Eric Swalwell on other issues.   Source: The Atlantic, "Gun Safety," on 2020 Democratic primary

Joe Biden on Assault Weapons: (Crime Mar 7, 2019)
1994 Crime Bill got help for first time offenders, not jail

A spokesman for Biden said high violent crime rates at the time was key context to understanding the bill, adding that the 1994 crime bill included funding "to keep individuals who committed first-time offenses and non-violent crimes out of prison and instead in treatment and supervision," and that Biden advocated for prevention funding. Two provisions of the bill that led to Biden's strong support of its passage: bans on high-capacity magazines and assault weapons and the Violence Against Women Act.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: CNN KFile, "Predators," on 2020 Democratic primary

Bernie Sanders on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Feb 19, 2019)
Ban assault weapons; automatic background checks

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Amy Klobuchar on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Feb 18, 2019)
Commonsense gun laws have wide support

I always look at every proposal and say, "Would this hurt my Uncle Dick in the deer stand?" And I would say that these commonsense proposals in front of us do not. I don't see banning assault weapons hurts in the deer stand. We should join the majority of Americans, and actually many gun owners, in having the courage to pass commonsense gun safety legislation.
Click for Amy Klobuchar on other issues.   Source: CNN Town Hall: 2020 presidential hopefuls

Julian Castro on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Feb 4, 2019)
Supports background checks at gun shows & assault weapon ban

Castro wants to ensure that background checks and waiting periods are enforced at gun shows. He supported Sen. Dianne Feinstein's, D-Calif., push for an "assault weapons ban." The bill sought to regulate the ownership of semiautomatic weapons, which include any weapon that only requires the release of its trigger to reload. It also targeted weapons with detachable magazine and certain grips.
Click for Julian Castro on other issues.   Source: Townhall.com: "The 2020 Democrats" (presidential hopefuls)

Cory Booker on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Feb 1, 2019)
Require background checks; ban assault weapons

Click for Cory Booker on other issues.   Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Kamala Harris on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jan 29, 2019)
No reason we have assault weapons in a civil society

While fielding a question about gun violence, Harris called out Congress for the lack of gun control legislation. She even suggested "harsh" means to encourage Congress to introduce a new bill. Harris started her discussion about gun reform by saying: "You can be in favor of the second amendment and also understand that there is no reason in a civil society that we have assault weapons around communities that can kill babies and police officers."

Harris became even more impassioned while discussing the inaction by congress following the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting that took the lives of 20 children between the ages 6 and 7. She said: "I think somebody should have required all those members of Congress to go in a room, in a locked room, no press, nobody else, and look at the autopsy photographs of those babies. And then you vote your conscience."

Click for Kamala Harris on other issues.   Source: Yahoo Entertainment Video on 2020 presidential hopefuls

Kirsten Gillibrand on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jan 16, 2019)
Ban high-capacity magazines; close gun-show loophole

Click for Kirsten Gillibrand on other issues.   Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Tulsi Gabbard on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jan 14, 2019)
Ban assault weapons; require universal background checks

In Congress, Gabbard has co-sponsored bills that would ban assault weapons and require background checks for all gun purchases, including closing what is known as the "gun-show loophole."
Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Julian Castro on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jan 12, 2019)
Ban assault weapons

Click for Julian Castro on other issues.   Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls

Stacey Abrams on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Nov 4, 2018)
AR-15s are not necessary on our streets

Q: When you were a state lawmaker in 2016, you co-sponsored House Bill 731 that would have allowed state authorities to take away so-called assault weapons from current gun owners. Most similar bans would grandfather in existing semiautomatic rifles.

ABRAMS: In Georgia, you introduce legislation to start conversations. I am happy to work with the legislature to figure out how we make an assault weapons ban work. But what I fundamentally believe is that we have to have commonsense gun safety legislation. I am someone who supports the Second Amendment, who knows how to shoot, who knows how to hunt, but I believe that our responsibility is to make certain that the most vulnerable in our society do not face those who are irresponsible with their weapons. AR-15s are not necessary on our streets. Semiautomatic weapons have to be put under a certain level of responsible control. And I believe that I can work with Democrats and Republicans to come up with commonsense gun safety legislation.

Click for Stacey Abrams on other issues.   Source: CNN interviews 2018 on Georgia 2016 voting records HB731

Rocky De La Fuente on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Nov 1, 2018)
Prohibit assault weapons; prohibit bump stocks

Q: Should gun rights and gun control laws ban assault weapons?

De La Fuente: Prohibit certain models of guns, as was done with the 1994 federal assault weapons ban and Gov. Mitt Romney's legislation in Massachusetts.

Q: Should gun rights and gun control laws ban bump stocks?

De La Fuente: Prohibit devices that allow weapons to fire artificially fast, similar to fully automatic fire. The Las Vegas gunman used these devices.

Q: Should gun rights and gun control laws bar sales under age 21?

De La Fuente: No one 20 or younger could buy a handgun or rifle

Q: Should gun rights and gun control laws require background checks?

De La Fuente: Private gun sales aren't required to go through background checks. Some governments require the same sort of checks that are now done by gun dealers. This is often called the gun show loophole.

Q: Should gun rights and gun control laws require safe storage?

De La Fuente: Allow criminal charges to be filed if firearms are not kept locked up.

Click for Rocky De La Fuente on other issues.   Source: Palm Beach Post on 2018 Florida Senate race

Beto O`Rourke on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Oct 9, 2018)
Universal background checks; ban assault weapons

Q: Support more restrictive gun control legislation?

Ted Cruz (R): No. Led fight not to ban assault weapons. Calls gun control efforts "tiresome."

Beto O'Rourke (D): Yes. Supports universal background checks & banning assault-style weapons.

Click for Beto O`Rourke on other issues.   Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Texas Senate race

Eric Swalwell on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control May 3, 2018)
Ban assault weapons and buy back as many as possible

Reinstating the federal˙assault weapons ban˙that was in effect from 1994 to 2004 would prohibit manufacture and sales, but it would not affect weapons already possessed. We should ban possession of military-style semiautomatic assault weapons, we should buy back such weapons from all who choose to abide by the law, and we should criminally prosecute any who choose to defy it by keeping their weapons.
Click for Eric Swalwell on other issues.   Source: Swalwell OpEd in USA Today for 2020 Democratic primary

John Kasich on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Feb 18, 2018)
We need bipartisan gun reform to deal with mass shootings

Kasich's own public stances on guns have varied throughout his political career. Kasich supported the assault weapons ban in the 1990s and earned the ire of the National Rifle Association. As governor years later, he signed legislation supported by gun rights advocates and touted his improved position with the NRA.

Last year, legislation Kasich signed went into effect that expanded where people can carry concealed handguns to include willing colleges and day-care facilities. But last November in an op-ed, Kasich called for a bipartisan approach to implement some kind of gun reform.

This week, he said Congress' history of inaction on the issue and the likelihood it will not address it in the wake of the recent high profile mass shooting was just one sign of broad dysfunction, citing the immigration debate as another example. "Think about how bad it is in Congress," Kasich said. "They can't decide anything. They can't agree to anything down there."

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: Eli Watkins on CNN on 2020 presidential hopefuls

Tulsi Gabbard on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Nov 8, 2016)
Advocate for sensible gun control

Tulsi has a consistent record of advocating for sensible gun control. She has long called for reinstating a federal ban on military-style assault weapons and high capacity clips, requiring comprehensive pre-purchase background checks, closing the gun-show loophole, and making sure that terrorists are not allowed to buy guns. Tulsi is focused on building bipartisan solutions that can actually be passed into law, rather than using the issue as a partisan political football.
Click for Tulsi Gabbard on other issues.   Source: VoteTulsi.com on Hawaii legislative voting records

Bernie Sanders on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Apr 15, 2016)
FactCheck: No, never supported by National Rifle Association

Hillary Clinton said about Bernie Sanders, "in his own book, he talks about his 1990 campaign, and here's what he said: He clearly was helped by the NRA, because they ran ads against his opponent." Is that true? We dug up the relevant section of Sanders' book:

"In 1988, the NRA had supported [my Republican opponent Peter] Smith and had opposed me [partly because] I supported a ban on certain types of assault weapons. A few months after taking office, Smith suddenly announced that he would vote FOR the ban on assault weapons. The NRA was furious at his about-face. While the NRA has never endorsed me or given me a nickel, their efforts against Smith in 1988 clearly helped my candidacy."So Hillary is TECHNICALLY accurate, but Bernie was only "helped" by the NRA campaigning against his opponent, and not for him--because he opposed the NRA's desired stance too! And Bernie was never financially supported by the NRA at all!

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck: 2016 Dem. primary debate in Brooklyn

Bernie Sanders on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Dec 19, 2015)
I have shown courage against NRA on gun issues

Gov. O'MALLEY: In Maryland, we overcame the NRA's objections. [The lack of progress on federal un laws] i's because of the flip-flopping, political approach of Washington that both of my two colleagues on this stage have represented there for the last forty years.

CLINTON: I have been for the Brady bill; I have been against assault weapons.

SANDERS: In 1988, just to set the record straight governor, I ran for the U.S. House. I said, "I don't think it's a great idea that we sell automatic weapons in this country that are used by the military to kill people very rapidly." Gun people said, "Vote for one of the others, but not Bernie Sanders." I lost that election by 3%. Quite likely for that reason. Do not tell me that I have not shown courage in standing up to the gun people, in voting to ban assault weapons, voting for instant background checks, voting to end the gun show loop hole and now we're in a position to create a consensus in America on gun safety.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H.

Bernie Sanders on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Dec 19, 2015)
People have the right to buy guns, with sensible regulations

O'MALLEY: Senator Sanders voted against the Brady Bill. Senator Sanders voted to give immunity to gun dealers. What we need on this issue is not more polls. We need more principle. When ISIL does videos that say the easiest way to get a combat assault weapon in the US is at a gun show, we should all be waking up. We need comprehensive gun safety legislation and a ban on assault weapons.

SANDERS: It's a country in which people choose to buy guns. More than half of the people in Vermont are gun owners. That's the right of people. I think we have to bring together the majority of the people who do believe in sensible gun safety regulations. Who denies that it is crazy to allow people to own guns who are criminals or mentally unstable? We've got to eliminate the gun show loophole. We have got to see that weapons designed by the military to kill people are not in the hands of civilians.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H.

Hillary Clinton on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Dec 19, 2015)
I support Brady Bill and closing the Charleston loophole

CLINTON: I have been for the Brady bill; I have been against assault weapons. I have voted not to give gun makers and sellers immunity. And I would hope that [others] would join the Democrats who are trying to close the Charleston loophole. We need to move on this consensus that exists in the country. It's no longer enough just to say the vast majority of Americans want common sense gun safety measures including gun owners.

OnTheIssues explanation: "The Charleston loophole" refers to a recent shooter in Charleston S.C. who legally purchased the weapon he used in the shooting because of a "default proceed" rule. That rule means, if the FBI does not notify the dealer within three days, the purchase can proceed. In the case of the Charleston shooter, he WAS on the FBI list due to previous arrests, but due to a clerical error by a county jail clerk reporting his arrest with the4 wrong agency, he was allowed to purchase the weapon.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2015 ABC/WMUR Democratic primary debate in N.H.

Bernie Sanders on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Oct 13, 2015)
Deal federally with straw-man gun purchasers

Q: You voted against the Brady Bill that mandated background checks. You also supported allowing riders to bring guns in checked bags on Amtrak trains.

SANDERS: Let's begin by understanding that Bernie Sanders has a D-minus voting rating from the NRA. Back in 1988, when I first ran for Congress, I supported a ban on assault weapons. And over the years, I have strongly supported instant background checks, doing away with this terrible gun show loophole. And I think we've got to move aggressively at the do away with this gun show loophole, that we have to address the issue of mental health, that we have to deal with the straw-man purchasing issue, and that when we develop that consensus, we can finally, finally do something to address this issue.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas

Hillary Clinton on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Oct 13, 2015)
Don't shield gun manufacturers from lawsuits:I vote that way

Q: For a decade, you said that holding gun manufacturers legally responsible for mass shootings is a bad idea. Now, you say you're reconsidering. Which is it: shield the gun companies from lawsuits or not?

SANDERS: Bernie Sanders has a D-minus voting rating from the NRA. Back in 1988, I told the gun owners of Vermont that I supported a ban on assault weapons. I have strongly avoided instant background checks, doing away with this terrible gun show loophole. And I think we've got to move aggressively at the federal level.

Q: Is Bernie Sanders tough enough on guns?

CLINTON: No, not at all. We have to look at the fact that we lose 90 people a day from gun violence. This has gone on too long and it's time the entire country stood up against the NRA. The majority of our country supports background checks, and even the majority of gun owners do.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2015 CNN Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas

Bernie Sanders on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Oct 11, 2015)
Common sense, incremental gun control plan

Q: Let's talk about the gun issue. You've called for moderation in this saying that you think you can bring both sides together.

SANDERS: I wouldn't use the word, "moderation." That's not quite the right word. This is what I do believe. I come from a state that has virtually no gun control. And yet, at political peril, I voted for an instant background check, which I want to see strengthened and expanded. I voted to ban certain types of assault weapons, which are designed only to kill people. I voted to end the so-called gun show loophole. What I think there needs to be is a dialogue. And here's what I do believe: I believe what I call common sense gun reform. Plus, a revolution in mental health, making sure that if people are having a nervous breakdown, or are suicidal, or homicidal, they get the care they need when they need it. I think the vast majority of the American people can support and agenda composed of those features.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press 2015 interview moderated by Chuck Todd

Bernie Sanders on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Sep 28, 2015)
1988: NRA opposed Congressional opponents more than him

The National Rifle Association turned against [my Republican opponent for U.S. Congress, Peter Plympton] Smith. In 1988, the NRA had supported both Smith and [my Democratic opponent, Paul] Poirier, and had opposed me. During that campaign, I was very clear that while I opposed the Brady bill because I felt that a handgun waiting period could be dealt with at the state level, I supported a ban on certain types of assault weapons, which was clearly a national issue. Both Smith and Poirier adopted the anti-gun control position of the NRA.

A few months after taking office, Smith suddenly announced that he would vote FOR the ban on assault weapons. The NRA and other elements in Vermont's sportsmen community were furious at his about-face. They felt betrayed and worked hard to defeat him. While the NRA has never endorsed me or given me a nickel, their efforts against Smith in 1988 clearly helped my candidacy. (I should add here that in 1992, '94, and '96, the NRA strongly opposed me.)

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Outsider in the White House , by Bernie Sanders, p. 106

John Kasich on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Aug 2, 2015)
2nd Amendment advocate: NRA rating changed from "F" to "A"

Q: Let me pick up on another issue that some conservatives have with you. Back in 1994, you voted for the assault weapons ban that Bill Clinton was proposing, which earned you an "F" from NRA. Now, your NRA rating is a straight "A". What would you say to a gun rights advocate who is going to say I'm not sure I like the guy who at one time had an "F" from the NRA?

KASICH: That was an assault weapon ban. I'm a Second Amendment advocate. I don't believe the government should be taking guns from people. I think people have a right to be armed. It's about keeping the Second Amendment and it's allowing legitimate gun owners to be able to do what they want, which is exercise their constitutional right. So people don't need to worry about that.

Q: Do you regret your vote for the assault weapons ban in '94?

KASICH: No, when I look at it now, it was superfluous. We were adding a law that had no impact. And I don't think that's ever smart to do.

Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls

Lincoln Chafee on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jun 18, 2015)
2013: Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines

According to Rhode Island Public Radio, as governor, Chafee supported 2013 legislation that would have banned semi-automatic assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. (That legislation was watered down significantly before it passed the legislature.)

Gun control advocates see Clinton as "an ally who can finish the push for tightened background checks that has stalled in President Obama's second term," The Hill reports.

Click for Lincoln Chafee on other issues.   Source: Rolling Stone magazine on 2016 presidential hopefuls

Hillary Clinton on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jun 18, 2015)
Gun control advocates see Clinton as an ally

Gun control advocates see Clinton as "an ally who can finish the push for tightened background checks that has stalled in President Obama's second term," The Hill reports.

According to Rhode Island Public Radio, as governor, Chafee supported 2013 legislation that would have banned semi-automatic assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. (That legislation was watered down significantly before it passed the legislature.)

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: Rolling Stone magazine on 2016 presidential hopefuls

Donald Trump on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jun 16, 2015)
A very strong person on the Second Amendment

What does Donald Trump believe? Gun Control: Limit restrictions on guns. Ban some assault weapons & extend the waiting period for purchase.

During a 2013 interview, the real estate mogul defined himself as, "a very strong person on the 2nd Amendment." He believes guns are necessary for self-defense and has written that he generally opposes gun control. In his 2000 book, "The America We Deserve" Trump wrote that he supports a ban on assault weapons and a slightly longer waiting period to buy a gun.

Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series

Bernie Sanders on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Apr 30, 2015)
Mixed approach to gun control vs. gun rights

On Guns: A mixed approach. No federal handgun waiting period. Some protection for gun manufacturers. Ban assault weapons.

Sanders voted against the pro-gun-control Brady Bill, writing that he believes states, not the federal government, can handle waiting periods for handguns. In 1994, he voted yes on an assault weapons ban. He has voted to ban some lawsuits against gun manufacturers and for the Manchin-Toomey legislation expanding federal background checks.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series

Elizabeth Warren on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Nov 18, 2014)
Huge difference between sportsmen's guns and assault weapons

There is a huge difference between the guns of a sportsman or homeowner and high- powered assault weapons with 100- cartridge magazines. I grew up around guns and gun owners, and I will work to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens. But the law must reflect the reality that, in the wrong hands, guns can be used for violent crimes, making neighbourhoods less safe.
Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: Quotable Elizabeth Warren, by Frank Marshall, p.147

Cory Booker on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jul 1, 2014)
More background checks & gun trace data

Passing Common Sense Gun Safety Legislation: It is plainly unacceptable that we don't have background checks for every gun sale in America, as well as bans on high capacity magazines and assault weapons that have no practical sporting use, and countless other reforms that will save lives.

I even personally appealed to the ATF for law enforcement access to crime gun trace data so that my department, and departments across New Jersey, could do more to understand and battle against gun trafficking.

Click for Cory Booker on other issues.   Source: 2014 New Jersey Senate campaign website CoryBooker.com

Mike Bloomberg on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Mar 24, 2013)
80% of NRA members support background checks

Q: 100 days after the Newtown massacre, the assault weapons ban has been taken out of the Senate bill. Here's what you said right after Newtown:

[Video] BLOOMBERG: The NRA's power is so vastly overrated. The public want to stop this carnage. And if 20 kids isn't enough to convince them, I don't know what would.[End]

Q: Do you fear that the moment that was created by Newtown has been lost?

BLOOMBERG: It would be a great tragedy if it is lost. I am cautiously optimistic. You have an issue where 90% of the public, 80% of NRA members even, say that they think we should have reasonable checks before people are allowed to buy guns--they all support the 2nd Amendment, as do I. But we have to stop the carnage.

Do you think the assault weapons ban is going to pass?

BLOOMBERG: We've been fighting since 2007 to get a vote. And if we were to [pass] background checks only, it wouldn't be as good as if we got both, but we're going to get the vote for sure on assault weapons.

Click for Mike Bloomberg on other issues.   Source: Meet the Press 2013 interviews: 2016 presidential hopefuls

John Hickenlooper on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Mar 24, 2013)
Universal background checks but no assault weapon ban

Q: The gun legislation that you signed this week in Colorado, a hunting state, has been described as one of the toughest gun laws in the country, and yet, you didn't include semi-assault weapons ban at all.

HICKENLOOPER: After the shootings last summer in the movie theater, we really focused on mental health first then universal background checks. Colorado is a state where we have a long tradition of a relationship with guns and hunting and that traditional approach from father to child. So we tried to tighten up a little bit things like universal background checks which clearly make a significant difference, that's where we put our initial focus.

Q: Do you think that the Congress is wrong not to go after an assault weapons ban?

HICKENLOOPER: I think the feeling right now around assault weapons at least in Colorado is that they're so hard to define what an assault weapon is. There's a lot of questions whether the federal ban made a difference. It's a tough sell.

Click for John Hickenlooper on other issues.   Source: CNN SOTU 2013 interview on 2014 Colorado gubernatorial race

Mike Bloomberg on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Mar 10, 2013)
Background checks do work, and should be highest priority

Q: It looks like Congress won't ban assault weapons, but might get better background checks on the sale of these weapons.

BLOOMBERG: The truth of the matter is only about 400 people a year get killed with assault weapons or high-capacity magazines. That is 400 too many, but you compare that to handguns, pistols, this year, are going to kill 12,000 Americans. There are 14 states that have background checks required for all sales. 14 states have closed the federal loophole, and in those 14 states the suicide rate is half the national average and the number of women that get killed in domestic violence is 40% less than in other states. So background checks do work.

Q: Why is it so hard to get the Congress to do it?

BLOOMBERG: Because, up until now, it has only been the NRA that has been talking about guns to the public & to Congress. And I'm trying to level the playing field and bring out the facts. The truth of the matter is the NRA itself, a few years ago, was in favor of background checks.

Click for Mike Bloomberg on other issues.   Source: CBS Face the Nation 2013 series: 2016 presidential hopefuls

Elizabeth Warren on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jul 27, 2012)
Extend the federal assault weapons ban

Warren's positions are largely in line with those of gun-control advocates, while Brown had long been endorsed by gun rights groups until he recently broke rank on a high-profile issue.

The candidates are most sharply divided about whether to renew the federal assault weapons ban, with Warren supporting an extension of the ban that expired in 2004 & Brown saying it is an issue best left to the states. Warren's campaign said she also supports proposals to require more rigorous background screenings, including for people who purchase firearms at gun shows; and opposes limits on the sharing of firearms trace information.

"There is a huge difference between the guns of a sportsman or homeowner and high-powered assault weapons with 100-cartridge magazines," she said. "I grew up around guns & gun owners, and I will work to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens. But the law must reflect the reality that, in the wrong hands, guns can be used for violent crimes, making neighborhoods less safe."

Click for Elizabeth Warren on other issues.   Source: Boston Globe on 2012 Mass. Senate debate

Joe Biden on Assault Weapons: (Crime Oct 5, 2010)
1990 crime bill: more police & tougher penalties

Biden championed more community policing and spent long hours and days immersing himself in law enforcement culture, frequently attending and addressing police organization meetings. And in a pending crime bill in 1990, Biden fought for more money for police departments, for a ban on assault weapons, and for tougher penalties for drug offenders, the bill was watered down by Republican opposition. Finally, in 1994 Congress passed a $30.2 billion Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, sometimes known simply as the Biden Crime bill, which called for one hundreg thousand more police in the nation's city streets over six years. The measure won strong political support for the Democrats and President Clinton from a police community that earlier had considered the Republicans as the law-and-order party. Biden ballyhooed the Community-Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program as reducing crime for eight straight years, from 1993 through 2001.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: A Life of Trial & Redemption, by Jules Witcover, p.306-307

Joe Sestak on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control May 1, 2010)
Extend the ban on assault weapons

On crime, Specter pointed to his support for bills to toughen sentences for career criminals, while Sestak said he would support an extension of the ban on assault weapons, which Specter opposed.
Click for Joe Sestak on other issues.   Source: Lehigh Valley Live coverage of 2010 PA Senate debate

Hillary Clinton on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Apr 16, 2008)
Give local police access to federal gun tracking info

I will be a good partner, for cities like Philadelphia, as president. Because I will bring back the so-called COPS program, where we had 100,000 police on the street, which really helped drive down the crime rate and also helped create better community relations.

I will also work to reinstate the assault weapons ban. We had it during the 1990s. It really was an aid to our police officers, who are now once again, because it has lapsed--the Republicans will not reinstate it--are being outgunned on our streets by these military-style weapons.

I will also work to make sure that police departments get access to the federal information that will enable them to track illegal guns, because the numbers are astounding. Probably 80% of the guns used in gun crimes got there illegally. And under the Republicans, that information was kept from local law enforcement.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2008 Philadelphia primary debate, on eve of PA primary

Joe Biden on Assault Weapons: (Crime Nov 11, 2007)
Biden Law of 1994 created several new capital offenses

Biden is credited for authoring several significant pieces of legislation in the area of federal law enforcement, including The Violent Crime Control & Law Enforcement Act of 1994, widely known as the Biden Law, which:The law was passed shortly before the Oklahoma City bombing, and its provisions were applied to execute Timothy McVeigh. The legislation received bipartisan support, but was reviled by death penalty opponents and civil libertarians. Some believe it broke ground for the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: The Contenders, by Laura Flanders, p.179

Hillary Clinton on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jul 12, 2007)
Get assault weapons & guns off the street

Q: How would you address gun violence that continues to be the #1 cause of death among African-American men?

A: I think it’s important to remember that the crime rate was driven down, & gun violence was driven down in the 1990s because of a combination of policies, like 100,000 police on the street and getting assault weapons off the street, and because of a growing economy. 22 million new jobs gave people who were hopeless a better chance for a future. So I want to get back to what works. This administration has tried to kill the 100,000 police. You’ve got mayors whose police force is outgunned by the criminals and the gang-bangers. Assault weapons are back on the street. We’ve got to go and do what works again. In addition to having policies that will get guns off the street, we do have to give young men particularly a better chance of a future that includes educational & economic opportunities & second chances when they get caught up in the criminal justice system.

Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: 2007 NAACP Presidential Primary Forum

Joe Biden on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Apr 26, 2007)
Keep assault weapons ban; close gun show loophole

Q: How many of you, in your adult lifetime, have had a gun in the house?

[Show of hands]: Senator Gravel, Senator Biden, Senator Dodd, Governor Richardson, Congressman Kucinich.

Q: Sen. Biden, what could the federal government have done to save those kids at Virginia Tech?

A: What they could have done is three things.

  1. In the so-called Biden crime bill, we put 100,000 cops on the street. I’ve worked with law enforcement for the past 30 years, with armor-piercing bullets, waiting periods, etc. But the one thing that’s clear: We should not have let the assault weapons ban lapse.
  2. We should close this so-called gun show loophole, so you can’t go into a gun show and buy a gun that you couldn’t buy walking into a gun shop.
  3. We have let the country down in the way in which we have not focused on mental illness. We should know that your kid is safe at college. If teachers determine that a child is a danger, the school should be able to take them off the campus.
Click for Joe Biden on other issues.   Source: 2007 South Carolina Democratic primary debate, on MSNBC

Amy Klobuchar on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jan 26, 2006)
Extend the ban on assault weapons

Q: What about assault weapons?

A: I did favor extending the ban on assault weapons. Unfortunately, we didn’t prevail.

Click for Amy Klobuchar on other issues.   Source: MN 2006 Senate debates - MPR interview

Barack Obama on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Oct 21, 2004)
Bush erred in failing to renew assault weapons ban

KEYES: [to Obama]: I am a strong believer in the second amendment. The gun control mentality is ruthlessly absurd. It suggests that we should pass a law that prevents law abiding citizens from carrying weapons. You end up with a situation where the crook have all the guns and the law abiding citizens cannot defend themselves. I guess that’s good enough for Senator Obama who voted against the bill that would have allowed homeowners to defend themselves if their homes were broken into.

OBAMA: Let’s be honest. Mr. Keyes does not believe in common gun control measures like the assault weapons bill. Mr. Keyes does not believe in any limits from what I can tell with respect to the possession of guns, including assault weapons that have only one purpose, to kill people. I think it is a scandal that this president did not authorize a renewal of the assault weapons ban.

Click for Barack Obama on other issues.   Source: Illinois Senate Debate #3: Barack Obama vs. Alan Keyes

Donald Trump on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jul 2, 2000)
For assault weapon ban, waiting period, & background check

I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun. With today’s Internet technology we should be able to tell within 72-hours if a potential gun owner has a record.
Click for Donald Trump on other issues.   Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p.102

Hillary Clinton on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jun 4, 1999)
Lock up guns; store ammo separately

If you own a gun... make sure it’s locked up and stored without the ammunition. In fact, make it stored where the ammunition is stored separately. We’ve made some progress in the last several years with the Brady Bill and some of the bans on assault weapons, but we have a lot of work to do.
Click for Hillary Clinton on other issues.   Source: ABC’s “Good Morning America”

John Kasich on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control May 23, 1999)
Cool off before making new gun laws after Littleton

Although he voted for the 1994 federal ban on assault weapons, Kasich said that lawmakers should have a cooling-off period after high-profile acts of violence before trying to pass new laws. Kasich noted that the two students who killed 13 people and themselves last month in Littleton, Colo., violated 19 existing gun laws. “There were already a bunch of laws,” Kasich said. “The kids didn’t pay attention to the laws. I don’t think new laws will solve all the problems.”
Click for John Kasich on other issues.   Source: Omaha World-Herald, “Kasich Tours Iowa”, 5/23/99

Bernie Sanders on Assault Weapons: (Gun Control Jun 17, 1997)
I'm pro-hunting, but no one needs an AK-47 to hunt

During the 1994 campaign the NRA had played a very forceful role against me. They distributed widely a "Bye, Bye, Bernie" bumper sticker.

Vermont is a rural state in which tens of thousands of people enjoy hunting and own guns. VT is an "outdoor" state--and hunting is a key part of that way of life. I am pro-gun, and pro-hunting. But I don't believe that hunters need assault weapons and AK-47s to kill deer. I voted for the ban on assault weapons, which brought the wrath of the NRA down on me.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Outsider in the House, by Bernie Sanders, p. 38-9

Bernie Sanders on Assault Weapons: (Welfare & Poverty Jun 17, 1997)
U.S. has highest income inequality in industrialized world

The Democratic convention was heavily scripted and entirely poll-driven. They made emotional appeals on several issues where the polls showed they had significant support. 75% of the people supported the ban on assault weapons. So they focused on the tragedy of Jim Brady, and support for gun control.

Perhaps more remarkable were the issues NOT talked about. There was virtually no discussion of class, despite the fact that we have the most unequal distribution of wealth and income in the industrialized world, and real wages of workers continue to fall. There was no discussion of our huge trade deficit, nor of corporate investment in China, Mexico, and other Third World countries, which is causing the loss of millions of decent-paying jobs. There was no mention of the fragility of a democracy in which half the people no longer vote and have given up on the political process.

Click for Bernie Sanders on other issues.   Source: Outsider in the House, by Bernie Sanders, p.166-7

  • Additional quotations related to Assault Weapons issues can be found under Gun Control.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Gun Control.
Candidates on Gun Control:
 Related issues:
Mass Shooting
Second Amendment

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