Issue Position: Protecting Second Amendment Rights
John McCain believes that the right of law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms is a fundamental, individual Constitutional right that we have a sacred duty to protect. We have a responsibility to ensure that criminals who violate the law are prosecuted to the fullest, rather than restricting the rights of law abiding citizens. Gun control is a proven failure in fighting crime. Law abiding citizens should not be asked to give up their rights because of criminals - criminals who ignore gun control laws anyway.
Gun Manufacturer Liability
John McCain opposes backdoor attempts to restrict Second Amendment rights by holding gun manufacturers liable for crimes committed by third parties using a firearm, and has voted to protect gun manufacturers from such inappropriate liability aimed at bankrupting the entire gun industry.
John McCain opposes restrictions on so-called "assault rifles" and voted consistently against such bans. Most recently he opposed an amendment to extend a ban on 19 specific firearms, and others with similar characteristics.
Importation of High Capacity Magazines
John McCain opposes bans on the importation of certain types of ammunition magazines and has voted against such limitations.
John McCain believes that every firearms owner has a responsibility to learn how to safely use and store the firearm they have chosen, whether for target shooting, hunting, or personal protection. He has supported legislation requiring gun manufacturers to include gun safety devices such as trigger locks in product packaging.
John McCain believes that banning ammunition is just another way to undermine Second Amendment rights. He voted against an amendment that would have banned many of the most commonly used hunting cartridges on the spurious grounds that they were "armor-piercing."
DC Personal Protection
As part of John McCain's defense of Second Amendment rights, he cosponsored legislation to lift a ban on the law abiding citizens of the District of Columbia from exercising their Constitutional right to bear arms.
Criminal Background Checks
John McCain supports instant criminal background checks to help prohibit criminals from buying firearms and has voted to ensure they are conducted thoroughly, efficiently, and without infringing on the rights of law abiding citizens.
Background Checks at Gun Shows
At a time when some were trying to shut down gun shows in the name of fighting crime, John McCain tried to preserve gun shows by standardizing sales procedures. Federal law requires licensed firearm sellers at gun shows to do an instant criminal background check on purchasers while private firearm sellers at gun shows do not have to conduct such a check. John McCain introduced legislation that would require an instant criminal background check for all sales at gun shows and believes that such checks must be conducted quickly to ensure that unnecessary delays do not effectively block transactions.
The Firearm Purchase Waiting Period
John McCain has opposed "waiting periods" for law abiding citizen's purchase of firearms.
The Confiscation of Firearms After an Emergency
John McCain opposes the confiscation of firearms from private citizens, particularly during times of crisis or emergency. He voted in favor of an amendment sponsored by Senator David Vitter prohibiting such confiscation.
Stiffer Penalties for Criminals Who Use a Firearm in the Commission of a Crime
John McCain believes in strict, mandatory penalties for criminals who use a firearm in the commission of a crime or illegally possess a firearm. Enforcing the current laws on the books is the best way to deter crime.