Friday, Dec 28, 2007
"I believe that the Second Amendment protects a truly fundamental individual right.
"I believe that every law-abiding American has the right to own a firearm for hunting, personal protection, skeet, trap or target shooting, or for any other sporting purpose or as part of a collection.
"I do not support any new gun laws including any new ban on semi-automatic firearms. As president, I will follow President Bush's precedent of opposing any laws that go beyond the restrictions in place when I take office. The laws I do and will support include decades-old restrictions on weapons of unusual lethality like grenades, rocket launchers, fully automatic firearms and what are legally known as destructive devices and would include similar restrictions on new and exotic weapons of similar or even greater lethality.
"I believe in safe and responsible gun ownership. I also applaud the efforts of Second Amendment supporters - particularly in the aftermath of the terrible crimes at Virginia Tech - to support measures to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System as a screening tool to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and those judged mentally incompetent. I will protect the promise of a fair and instant check and oppose any effort to expand the NICS beyond its original purpose. I was pleased, in fact, that recently, Congress passed the NICS Improvement Act with NRA support and over liberal opposition to finance, improve, and streamline the current NICS system.
"I believe that any discussion regarding firearms and crime control must focus on the criminal. Unfortunately, many in Washington believe that restricting the rights of law-abiding gun owners will diminish violent crime. They are wrong. Over the years, the idea that it is possible to curtail crime by banning firearms has run up against a mountain of empirical evidence that forces one to conclude that gun control laws fail because they rely on the cooperation of a very unlikely element - the criminal. Any measure that fails to focus on the criminal and infringes on the constitutional rights of law-abiding Americans will be a non-starter for me.
"My message on the Second Amendment is simple: the rights of law-abiding gun owners will be protected in a Romney administration.
"On the other hand, if you're a criminal, here is your warning: I will ask every law enforcement agency across this great land to enforce the gun laws that are already on the books so that those who use guns illegally will know that they will be caught, prosecuted, convicted and jailed.
"I believe the right to keep and bear arms is a cornerstone of our personal freedoms. Should I be fortunate enough to become President, I will stand up and fight against any attempt to weaken or infringe upon our Second Amendment rights. And I will do this without any apology and without any hesitation."
- Governor Mitt Romney
ROMNEY RECORD: GOVERNOR ROMNEY'S PRO-SECOND AMENDMENT AGENDA
Governor Romney Strongly Supports An Individual's Right To Keep And Bear Arms Under The Second Amendment. Governor Romney believes in safe and responsible gun ownership. He recognizes there are people in this country who want to remove all guns in our society and he thinks they're wrong. Washington needs to distinguish between law abiding gun owners and those who misuse guns.
- Governor Romney Has A Distinguished Record As Governor of Massachusetts In Defending Our Second Amendment Rights. His efforts on behalf of gun owners have been lauded by gun rights and sportsmen's advocates.
Governor Romney Believes The Second Amendment Protects Essential Freedoms And Supports The Constitutional Right Of Law Abiding Citizens To Keep And Bear Arms. "As president, I'll honor the right of decent, law-abiding citizens to own and use firearms in defense of their families and property and for all other lawful purposes, including the common defense." (Governor Mitt Romney, Remarks To The NRA, Washington, D.C., 9/21/07)
- Governor Romney Believes The Second Amendment Is About More Than Just Self-Defense Or Sport; It's About The Basic Freedom Of Lawful Citizens To Live Their Lives. The Second Amendment was enshrined by the Founding Fathers in our Constitution and our Bill of Rights to protect the rights of our citizens to own firearms. Bumper sticker gun control does not protect the individual but instead takes away protections and penalizes law-abiding citizens. Criminals do not buy guns in stores nor subject themselves to background checks. Law-abiding citizens certainly have a right to protect their homes and their families.
- Governor Romney Believes We Need To Focus On Enforcing Our Current Laws Rather Than Creating More Laws That Burden Lawful Gun Owners.
Like President Bush, Governor Romney Would Have Signed The Assault Weapons Ban Extension At That Time. As Governor Romney stated on CNN and "Meet the Press," had he been President and had the Assault Weapons Ban extension reached his desk, like President Bush, he would have signed it. That bill did not pass Congress. Governor Romney has stated that he would not reinstate that Assault Weapons Ban. In fact, Governor Romney does not support any new gun laws including a ban on semi-automatic firearms. He would consider limitations on weapons of unusual lethality like grenades, rocket launchers, fully automatic firearms and what are legally known as destructive weapons. (NBC's "Meet The Press," 12/16/07; CNN's "The Situation Room," 11/26/07; The Des Moines Register, 10/23/07)
Governor Romney Supports Court Decisions That Strengthen The Second Amendment. "Finally, let me say that one of the most active fronts in the fight to preserve our Second Amendment rights today is being waged in the courts. Lawsuits have been filed seeking to take away the individual's right to bear arms. We have to look no further than the Parker case. I hope the Roberts court takes the Parker case and upholds the Bill of Rights to protect gun owners everywhere. I've made it clear that I'll appoint judges who believe in strictly interpreting the Constitution, judges in the mold of Roberts, Alito, Scalia and Thomas. It's simply wrong for judges to legislate from the bench. They should follow the law in the Constitution, not make new law." (Governor Mitt Romney, Remarks To The NRA, Washington, D.C., 9/21/07)
Governor Romney Supports The Rights Of Pro-Second Amendment Groups To Be Involved In The Political Process. "And I'll ask Congress to repeal the McCain-Feingold law which sought to impose restrictions on the First Amendment rights of groups like the NRA to advocate for issues we care about. Some parts have already been declared unconstitutional. We ought to get rid of the entire bill." (Governor Mitt Romney, Remarks To The NRA, Washington, D.C., 9/21/07)
Governor Romney Opposes Backdoor Attempts To Ban Guns. "We need tort reform as well. That's the way we fight the backdoor attempt to ban guns by bankrupting manufacturers." (Governor Mitt Romney, Remarks To The NRA, Washington, D.C., 9/21/07)
Governor Romney Repeatedly Sided With Massachusetts Gun Owners And Sportsmen In Defending Second Amendment Rights:
On The 31st Anniversary Of Gun Owners' Action League (GOAL), Governor Romney Declared May 7, 2005 As "Right To Bear Arms Day" In Massachusetts. (Gun Owners' Action League Official Website, www.goal.org, Accessed 2/19/07)
- The Boston Globe: "Also, in 2005, Romney designated May 7 as 'The Right to Bear Arms Day' in Massachusetts to honor 'the right of decent, law-abiding citizens to own and use firearms in defense of their families, persons, and property and for all lawful purposes, including the common defense.'" (Scott Helman, The Boston Globe, 1/14/07)
In July 2006, Governor Romney Signed Legislation Reversing Burdensome Regulations For The Makers Of Customized Target Pistols. "Governor Mitt Romney today signed legislation approving an exemption for the makers of customized target pistols, who due to a provision within state law have found it increasingly difficult to do business in Massachusetts." (Office Of Governor Mitt Romney, "Governor Romney Approves Exemption For Target Pistols," Press Release, 7/26/06)
- GOAL Executive Director James Wallace: "Target shooters are an important part of our membership and I know they will be very pleased with this change." (Office Of Governor Mitt Romney, "Governor Romney Approves Exemption For Target Pistols," Press Release, 7/26/06)
In November 2005, Governor Romney Signed Legislation Clarifying The Definition Of A Loaded Muzzleloader. "Governor Mitt Romney today signed legislation aimed at providing one clear definition of a loaded shotgun or rifle for the state's hunting enthusiasts. ... 'Today, we are simplifying the gun laws in Massachusetts,' Romney said. 'With this legislation, our hunters will know precisely what is expected of them.' ... Hunters now no longer face the lengthy, complex and unnecessary task of cleaning the barrel every time they encounter a public way, nor will they unknowingly violate the law by only removing a gun's priming device." (Office Of Governor Mitt Romney, "Romney Resolves Long-Standing Conflict In State's Firearm Law," Press Release, 11/22/05)
- GOAL Executive Director James Wallace: "This new law addresses a conflict that had previously caused great concern in those who use traditional muzzle loading rifles and shotguns. Now they confidently know what is expected of them and can enjoy their heritage without the fear of being prosecuted for violating a poorly written law." (Office Of Governor Mitt Romney, "Romney Resolves Long-Standing Conflict In State's Firearm Law," Press Release, 11/22/05)
Governor Romney Signed Into Law A Provision Providing Free Replacement Licenses. (Gun Owners' Action League Official Website, www.goal.org, Accessed 2/19/07)
In 2005, Governor Mitt Romney "Suspended 'Administrative Fees' To The Natural Heritage And Endangered Species Fund Of Massachusetts." (Gun Owners' Action League Official Website, www.goal.org, Accessed 2/19/07)
In July 2004, Governor Romney Signed Major Legislation Supported By Gun Owners That Reformed The State's Onerous Gun Laws. "The bill enjoyed the support of Massachusetts gun owners because it also encompassed several measures they favored - including a lengthening of the terms of firearm identification cards and licenses to carry." (Scott Helman, The Boston Globe, 1/14/07)
- NRA Website: "NRA and GOAL supported this bill because it did not ban any guns, and because it made much-needed reforms." (NRA Official Website, http://www.nraila.org/CurrentLegislation/Read.aspx?ID=1149, Accessed 10/16/07)
- NRA Website: "...NRA members should be very pleased in knowing that their efforts to educate and work with their local representatives and senators resulted in a successful reform action. Thanks to you and the Gun Owners' Action League, lawful gun owners can now take advantage of this first set of real reforms in over five years." (NRA Official Website, http://www.nraila.org/CurrentLegislation/Read.aspx?ID=1149, Accessed 10/16/07)
The Law Governor Romney Signed Made A Number Of Improvements To Help Sportsmen, Including:
- Establishing The Firearm License Review Board To Review Cases Of Those Applying To Have Their Firearm Licenses Restored.
- Extending The Term Of Firearm Licenses From Four Years To Six Years.
- Re-Instating A 90-Day Grace Period For Citizens Trying To Renew Their Firearm License.