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Fred Thompson on Gun Control

Former Republican Senator (TN)


NYC doesn’t have same values as America on gun control

Q: Rudy Giuliani said, “Fred has no record to talk about. I have a good record to talk about. And if he had no record at all, he’d want to attack somebody else’s record.”

A: I think Rudy was kind of squealing before he got stuck there. Somebody asked me a question about gun control, and I said Rudy was mayor of New York and apparently felt like gun control was a great idea back then. He says it was because he was representing NYC. But I don’t think New York City has necessarily the same values as the rest of America. And that’s in reaction to that. My experience has had to do with matters on the national level. I was on the Intelligence Committee. I chaired a committee dealing with nuclear proliferation. I was Republican floor leader for the homeland security bill. I could go on and on and on. I’ve dealt with those issues for almost a decade both in and out of government. And of course, Rudy has not, you know, five minutes of experience with regard to things of those nature.

Source: Fox News Sunday: 2007 “Choosing the President” interviews Nov 25, 2007

Allow colleges to make their own rules about guns on campus

Q: Last April, in response to the terrible tragedy at Virginia Tech, you said, “Virginia Tech administrators overrode Virginia state law and threatened to expel or fire anybody who brings a weapon on the campus. Many other universities have been swayed by an anti-gun, anti-self defense ideology. Whenever I’ve seen one of those ‘Gun-free zone’ signs, I’ve always wondered exactly who these signs are directed at.” My sense is that you would be in favor of students carrying concealed weapons on a college campus.

A: It would have to be consistent with campus rules. I don’t think that all students need to be carrying weapons on the school campus. What I would feel more comfortable with, would be to give some thought as to who should be properly qualified and permitted & armed on campuses and other places where people gather.

Q: But you would allow a campus to bar their students from carrying concealed weapons?

A: Yeah, different schools would have the freedom to have their own rules as they see fit.

Source: Meet the Press: 2007 “Meet the Candidates” series Nov 4, 2007

Strongly supports the Second Amendment

I strongly support the Second Amendment of the Constitution, which protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms. Gun control is touted as a major crime-control measure. But some of the places with the strictest gun-control laws also have high violent-crime rates. Disarming law-abiding citizens does not prevent crime. The answer to violent crime is smart, effective, and aggressive law enforcement. The real effect of these gun-control measures is to place onerous restrictions on law-abiding citizens who use firearms for such legal activities as self-defense, sport-shooting, hunting, and collecting. I am committed to:
Source: Campaign website, www.Fred08.com, “Issues” Sep 20, 2007

Allowing concealed carry could have limited VA Tech massacre

How is it that one man with two handguns could reload time & time again, and go from classroom to classroom on the Virginia Tech campus without being stopped. Much of the answer can be found in policies put in place by the university itself.

Virginia allows citizens with training and legal permits to carry concealed weapons. That means that Virginians regularly sit in movie theaters and eat in restaurants among armed citizens.

The statistics are clear. Communities that recognize and grant Second Amendment rights to responsible adults have a significantly lower incidence of violent crime than those that do not. Incarcerated criminals tell criminologists that they consider local gun laws when they decide what sort of crime they will commit, and where they will do so.

But Virginia Tech administrators overrode Virginia state law and threatened to expel or fire anybody who brings a weapon onto campus. Those “Gun-free Zone” signs don’t mean much to the sort of man who murdered 32 people.

Source: Thompson’s blog on ABCradio.com, “Signs of Intelligence?” Apr 19, 2007

Having handguns in your home is a Constitutional right

Q: Let’s do a lightning round to see where you stand. Gun control.

A: Well, I’m against gun control generally. You know, you check my record. You’ll find I’m pretty consistent on that issue.

Q: So you’d be perfectly happy to have people have handguns in their homes?

A: Yes. Absolutely. The court basically said the Constitution means what it says, and I agree with that.

Source: Fox News Sunday: 2007 “Choosing the President” interviews Mar 11, 2007

Voted NO on background checks at gun shows.

Require background checks on all firearm sales at gun shows.
Status: Amdt Agreed to Y)50; N)50; VP decided YES
Reference: Lautenberg Amdt #362; Bill S. 254 ; vote number 1999-134 on May 20, 1999

Voted NO on more penalties for gun & drug violations.

The Hatch amdt would increase mandatory penalties for the illegal transfer or use of firearms, fund additional drug case prosecutors, and require background check on purchasers at gun shows. [A YES vote supports stricter penalties].
Status: Amdt Agreed to Y)48; N)47; NV)5
Reference: Hatch Amendment #344; Bill S. 254 ; vote number 1999-118 on May 14, 1999

Voted YES on loosening license & background checks at gun shows.

Vote to table or kill a motion to require that all gun sales at gun shows be completed by federally licensed gun dealers. Also requires background checks to be completed on buyers and requires gun show promoters to register with the Treasury.
Reference: Bill S.254 ; vote number 1999-111 on May 11, 1999

Voted YES on maintaining current law: guns sold without trigger locks.

Vote to table [kill] an amendment to make it unlawful for gun dealers to sell handguns without providing trigger locks. Violation of the law would result in civil penalties, such as suspension or revocation of the dealer's license, or a fine.
Reference: Bill S 2260 ; vote number 1998-216 on Jul 21, 1998

Other candidates on Gun Control: Fred Thompson on other issues:
Nominees:
GOP: Sen.John McCain
GOP V.P.: Gov.Sarah Palin
Democrat: Sen.Barack Obama
Dem.V.P.: Sen.Joe Biden

Third Parties:
Constitution: Chuck Baldwin
Libertarian: Rep.Bob Barr
Constitution: Amb.Alan Keyes
Liberation: Gloria La Riva
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Ralph Nader
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Page last updated: Feb 08, 2010