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Ron Paul on Gun Control

Republican Representative (TX-14); previously Libertarian for President


FactCheck: Terroristic shootings do occur with guns around

Rep. Paul states in "Liberty Defined" that terror attacks occur in gun-free zones, but never at places like gun shows. But the Fort Hood shooting occurred 18 months prior to his book's publication.

On pp. 144-5 of his book, Rep. Paul asserts, "I don't really believe 'gun-free' zones make any difference. If they did, why would the worst shootings consistently happen in gun-free zones such as schools? And while accidents do happen, aggressive, terroristic shootings like this are unheard of at gun and knife shows, the antithesis of a gun-free zone."

At Ft. Hood in Texas, on Nov. 5, 2009, a gunman shot and killed 13 people and wounded 29 others. The shooting was a terroristic attack; the gunman had written, "fighting against the US army is an Islamic duty". According to Wikipedia.com, numerous of his victims were armed soldiers; at least two fired at the shooter during his rampage.

Rep. Paul is simply mistaken in his assertion; the Fort Hood incident should have been cited as a counter-example.

Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on Liberty Defined, by Ron Paul , Aug 11, 2011

No negligence lawsuits against gun manufacturers

To his credit--and somewhat incongruous--Rep. Paul voted against a measure that would allow negligence lawsuits against gun manufacturers, for liability protection for manufacturers of certain gasoline additives, and for a bill that would move national class-action lawsuits out of local state courts to federal courts in order to stop the pernicious practice of court shopping.
Source: Club for Growth 2012 Presidential White Paper #8: Ron Paul , Jun 21, 2011

Gun-free zones don't make any difference

Gun-control advocates tell us that removing guns from society makes us safer. But that is simply an impossibility. The fact is that firearm technology exists. It cannot be uninvented. As long as there is metalworking and welding capability, it matters no what gun laws are imposed upon law-abiding people. Those who wish to have guns, and disregard the law, will have guns. Paradoxically, gun control clears a path for violence and makes aggression more likely, whether the aggressor is a terrorist or a government. I don't really believe "gun-free" zones make any difference. If they did, why would the worst shootings consistently happen in gun-free zones such as schools? And while accidents do happen, aggressive, terroristic shootings like this are unheard of at gun and knife shows, the antithesis of a gun-free zone. It bears repeating that an armed society truly is a polite society. Even if you don't like guns and don't want to own them, you benefit from those who do.
Source: Liberty Defined, by Rep. Ron Paul, p.144-145 , Apr 19, 2011

Let airlines make rules about passenger guns to fight terror

Q: You have said that the 9/11 attackers might have had second thoughts if they’d felt that some of the passengers aboard the airplanes might have been armed.

A: You’re quoting me incorrectly. I said the responsibility for protecting passengers falls with the airline, not the government--and not the passengers. The airline’s responsible for the aircraft and the passengers. If we wouldn’t have been dependent on the federal government to set all the rules, which meant no guns & no resistance, then the terrorists may well have had second thoughts, because the airlines would have had the responsibility. But we assumed the government was going to take care of us. After 9/11, instead of moving toward the direction of personal responsibility & private property & 2nd amendment, we moved in the opposite direction. We turned it over to the federal government. Private industry protects their property all the time. But here is one example when the federal government was involved and they messed it up.

Source: 2007 GOP debate at UNH, sponsored by Fox News , Sep 5, 2007

Opposes the DC Gun Ban; it’s not just a “collective right”

An appeals court in Washington DC issued a ruling that hopefully will result in the restoration of 2nd Amendment rights in the nation’s capital. It appears the Court rejected the DC’s nonsensical argument that the 2nd Amendment confers only a “collective right,” something gun control advocates have asserted for years. Rights, by definition, are individual. “Group rights” is an oxymoron.

When the 2nd Amendment speaks of a “well-regulated militia,” it means local groups of individuals operating to protect their own families, homes, and communities. They regulated themselves because it was necessary and in their own interest to do so. The Founders themselves wrote in the Federalist papers about the need for individuals to be armed.

Gun control makes people demonstrably less safe--as any honest examination of criminal statistics reveals. It is no coincidence that violent crime flourishes in the nation’s capital, where the individual’s right to self-defense has been most severely curtailed.

Source: Weekly column, “Texas Straight Talk” , Mar 12, 2007

Ease procedures on the purchase and registration of firearms

Source: Congressional 1996 National Political Awareness Test , Nov 1, 1996

Allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed firearms

Source: Congressional 1996 National Political Awareness Test , Nov 1, 1996

Voted NO on prohibiting product misuse lawsuits on gun manufacturers.

A bill to prohibit civil liability actions from being brought or continued against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms or ammunition for damages, injunctive or other relief resulting from the misuse of their products by others. A YES vote would:
Reference: Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act; Bill S 397 ; vote number 2005-534 on Oct 20, 2005

Voted NO on prohibiting suing gunmakers & sellers for gun misuse.

Vote to pass a bill that would prohibit liability lawsuits from being brought against gun manufacturers and dealers based on the criminal misuse of firearms. The bill would also block these actions from being brought up against gun trade organizations and against ammunition makers and sellers. The measure would apply immediately to any pending cases. Several specific exceptions to the ban exist. This includes civil suits would be allowed against a maker or dealer who "knowingly and willfully violated" state or federal laws in the selling or marketing of a weapon. Design and manufacturing defect lawsuits are also permitted when weapons are "used as intended.
Reference: Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act; Bill HR 1036 ; vote number 2003-124 on Apr 9, 2003

Voted NO on decreasing gun waiting period from 3 days to 1.

Vote to pass a bill requiring anyone who purchases a gun at a gun show to go through an instant background check which must be completed within 24 hours [instead of 72 hours].
Reference: Bill introduced by McCollum, R-FL; Bill HR 2122 ; vote number 1999-244 on Jun 18, 1999

Support the Second Amendment .

Paul adopted the Republican Liberty Caucus Position Statement:

    BE IT RESOLVED that the Republican Liberty Caucus endorses the following [among its] principles:
  1. Every American has the right to keep and bear arms. We affirm our support for the second amendment of the US Constitution.
  2. All people, regardless of position in the public or private sector, should be held equally accountable under the law.
  3. The *only* litmus test for Supreme Court or other judges should be their determination to accurately interpret, not amend, the Constitution. Judges have *no* authority to make new law.
Source: Republican Liberty Caucus Position Statement 00-RLC6 on Dec 8, 2000

Rated A by the NRA, indicating a pro-gun rights voting record.

Paul scores A by NRA on pro-gun rights policies

While widely recognized today as a major political force and as America's foremost defender of Second Amendment rights, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has, since its inception, been the premier firearms education organization in the world. But our successes would not be possible without the tireless efforts and countless hours of service our nearly three million members have given to champion Second Amendment rights and support NRA programs.

The following ratings are based on lifetime voting records on gun issues and the results of a questionaire sent to all Congressional candidates; the NRA assigned a letter grade (with A+ being the highest and F being the lowest).

Source: NRA website 02n-NRA on Dec 31, 2003

Sponsored bill against United Nations taxation on firearms.

Paul sponsored against United Nations taxation on firearms

OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: Prohibits appropriated funds from being used by any US official to promote any action by the UN which advocates the taxation of firearms or any other abrogation of rights under the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Condemns all proposals to tax or otherwise limit rights under the Second Amendment.

SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Rep. PAUL: This legislation prohibits taxpayer support of any UN actions that could in any way infringe on the Second Amendment. The bill also expresses the sense of Congress that proposals to tax, or otherwise limit, the right to keep and bear arms are "reprehensible and deserving of condemnation."

Over the past decade, the UN has waged a campaign to undermine the right to keep and bear arms, which is protected by the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called on members of the Security Council to "tackle" the proliferation and "easy availability" of small arms and light weapons. Just this June, the UN tried to "tackle" gun rights by sponsoring a "Week of Action Against Small Arms." Of course, by small arms, the UN really means all privately owned firearms.

Contrary to the UN propaganda, the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right and, according to the drafters of the Constitution, the guardian of every other right. Many victims of tyranny were first disarmed by their governments. If the UN is successful in implementing a global regime of gun control, then more innocent lives will be lost to public (and private) criminals. I would remind my colleagues that policies prohibiting the private ownership of firearms were strongly supported by tyrants such as Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tong. Global gun control is a recipe for global tyranny and a threat to the safety of all law-abiding persons.

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to House Committee on International Relations; never came to a vote.

Source: Right to Keep and Bear Arms Act (H.R.3125) 03-HR3125 on Sep 17, 2003

Require video recording of every firearm test by ATF.

Paul co-sponsored Fairness in Firearm Testing Act

Directs the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to make a video recording of the entire process of its examination and testing of an item for the purpose of determining whether the item is a firearm (and if so, the type of firearm) or ammunition. Bars ATF from editing or erasing any such recording.

Directs ATF to make available a digital video disc that contains a copy of the recording: (1) at the request of a person who claims an ownership interest in such item; and (2) to a defendant in a criminal proceeding involving such item.

Provides that an item which ATF has determined is a firearm or ammunition shall not be admissible as evidence unless: (1) ATF has complied with the requirements of this Act to make its digital video disc available; or (2) such compliance has been waived in writing by the person against whom the item is offered as evidence.

Source: H.R.126 11-HR126 on Jan 5, 2011

Individual right to self-defense at home and as self-defense.

Paul co-sponsored individual right to self-defense at home and as self-defense

Declares that a person not prohibited under the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act from receiving a firearm shall have the right to obtain firearms for security and to use firearms in defense of:

  1. self or family against a reasonably perceived threat of imminent and unlawful infliction of serious bodily injury;
  2. self or family in the course of the commission by another person of a violent felony against the person or a member of the person's family; and
  3. the person's home in the course of the commission of a felony by another person.
Source: Citizens' Self-Defense Act (H.R.347) 1999-H347 on Jan 19, 1999

Ban gun registration & trigger lock law in Washington DC.

Paul co-sponsored banning gun registration & trigger lock law in Washington DC