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Charles Schumer on Gun Control

Democratic Sr Senator (NY)


Enforce gun laws on national security grounds

Unless the President personally intervenes here, it looks like terrorists are going to have an even easier time avoiding detection by law enforcement. The President has a choice: He can give the NRA a Christmas present and make it easier for an Al-Qaeda operative to avoid the police, get a gun and shoot up a mall. Or he can do the right thing, keep the Brady Bill intact and keep the public safe. We can either wait for a terror attack to happen or we can act now to close these kind of loopholes. Washington has now been warned time and time again about ways terrorists can exploit our loopholes to get guns. By ignoring these warnings, the President and his allies in Congress are putting the country at risk.“
Source: Press Release, ‘NRA-Backed Plan in budget bill’ , Dec 2, 2003

Renew assault weapons ban - no legitimate use for them

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” To let the assault weapons ban expire just as we are realizing its benefits would be a major setback in the success we’ve had in reducing crime over the last decade. The fact of the matter is that there is no legitimate use for these weapons. That was as true in 1994 as it is today. The bottom line is that the assault weapons ban is working and we are safer because of it.“
Source: Press Release ‘ATF data’ , Nov 5, 2003

Penalize cross-state gun traffickers

Lax gun laws in one state translate into murder and mayhem in another. New York criminals have difficulty finding New York guns. The guns often come from states that do not believe in restricting guns beyond what is prescribed by federal law. Where there is a weak spot in the law, criminals are ready to exploit it, so we need to strengthen federal law enforcement’s ability to go after gun runners no matter what state they set up shop in.
Source: Statement, ‘Study: Southern Guns, NY Crimes’ , Sep 17, 2003

Cutting record-keeping limits fosters gun sale fraud & abuse

Attorney General John Ashcroft announced plans to slash the length of time that the government can keep records on instant background checks for gun buyers. The proposal, which infuriated gun control advocates, calls for such records to be held for only one business day after a sale. Ashcroft said , “The intent of the law is to protect the privacy of legitimate gun purchasers.”

Law enforcement agencies can retain records for up to 180 days. The time limit is to drop to 90 days next week. The plan drew immediate criticism from Democratic lawmakers, who accused the Bush administration of pandering to gun dealers and the NRA. “This is the most disappointing news we’ve received in the fight to bring rationality to our guns and laws,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (D, NY), who vowed to fight the plan. Schumer and other gun control advocates argued the records should be kept for a reasonable time to help law enforcement agencies uncover fraud and abuse in gun sales.

Source: Cheryl W. Thompson, Washington Post, p. A2 , Jun 29, 2001

Voted YES on banning high-capacity magazines of over 10 bullets.

Congressional Summary:

Proponent's Argument for voting Yes: Sen. BLUMENTHAL: This amendment would ban high-capacity magazines which are used to kill more people more quickly and, in fact, have been used in more than half the mass shootings since 1982. I ask my colleagues to listen to law enforcement, their police, prosecutors who are outgunned by criminals who use these high-capacity magazines. I ask that my colleagues also listen to the families of those killed by people who used a high-capacity magazine.

Opponent's Argument for voting No: Sen. GRASSLEY. I oppose the amendment. In 2004, which is the last time we had the large-capacity magazine ban, a Department of Justice study found no evidence banning such magazines has led to a reduction in gun violence. The study also concluded it is not clear how often the outcomes of the gun attack depend on the ability of offenders to fire more than 10 shots without reloading. Secondly, there is no evidence banning these magazines has reduced the deaths from gun crimes. In fact, when the previous ban was in effect, a higher percentage of gun crime victims were killed or wounded than before it was adopted. Additionally, tens of millions of these magazines have been lawfully owned in this country for decades. They are in common use, not unusually dangerous, and used by law-abiding citizens in self-defense, as in the case of law enforcement.

Schumer says, "Schumer (D-NY)"

Reference: Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act; Bill S.Amdt. 714 to S. 649 ; vote number 13-SV103 on Apr 17, 2013

Voted NO on allowing firearms in checked baggage on Amtrak trains.

Congressional Summary:AMENDMENT PURPOSE: To ensure that law abiding Amtrak passengers are allowed to securely transport firearms in their checked baggage.

On page 37, between lines 8 and 9, insert the following: "Allowing Amtrak Passengers to Securely Transport Firearms on Passenger Trains.--None of amounts made available in the reserve fund authorized under this section may be used to provide financial assistance for the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) unless Amtrak passengers are allowed to securely transport firearms in their checked baggage.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Sen. ROGER WICKER (R, MS). This amendment aims to ensure that gun owners and sportsmen are able to transport securely firearms aboard Amtrak trains in checked baggage, a practice that is done thousands of times a day at airports across the country. I emphasize that this amendment deals with checked, secured baggage only. It would return Amtrak to a pre-9/11 practice. It does not deal with carry-on baggage. Unlike the airline industry, Amtrak does not allow the transport of firearms in checked bags. This means that sportsmen who wish to use Amtrak trains for hunting trips cannot do so because they are not allowed to check safely a firearm.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Sen. FRANK LAUTENBERG (D, NJ): I object to this disruptive amendment offered by the Senator from Mississippi. He wants to enable the carrying of weapons, guns, in checked baggage. One doesn't have to be very much concerned about what we are doing when they look at the history of attacks on railroads in Spain and the UK and such places. This amendment has no place here interrupting the budgetary procedure. The pending amendment is not germane and, therefore, I raise a point of order that the amendment violates section 305(b)(2) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

Reference: Wicker Amendment; Bill S.Amdt.798 to S.Con.Res.13 ; vote number 2009-S145 on Apr 2, 2009

Voted NO on prohibiting foreign & UN aid that restricts US gun ownership.

Amendment SA 2774 to H.R. 2764, the Department of State's International Aid bill: To prohibit the use of funds by international organizations, agencies, and entities (including the United Nations) that require the registration of, or taxes guns owned by citizens of the United States.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Sen. VITTER: This is a straight funding limitation amendment. Many folks who haven't followed the proceedings on this in the U.N. may ask: What is this all about? Unfortunately, it is about an effort in the United Nations to bring gun control to various countries through that international organization. Unfortunately, that has been an ongoing effort which poses a real threat, back to 1995. In 2001, the UN General Assembly adopted a program of action designed to infringe on second amendment rights. The Vitter amendment simply says we are not going to support any international organization that requires a registration of US citizens' guns or taxes US citizens' guns. If other folks in this Chamber think that is not happening, that it is never going to happen, my reply is simple and straightforward: Great, then this language has no effect. It is no harm to pass it as a failsafe. It has no impact. But, in fact, related efforts have been going on in the U.N. since at least 1995. I hope this can get very wide, bipartisan support, and I urge all my colleagues to support this very fundamental, straightforward amendment.

No opponents spoke against the bill.

Reference: Vitter Amendment to State Dept. Appropriations Bill; Bill S.Amdt. 2774 to H.R. 2764 ; vote number 2007-321 on Sep 6, 2007

Voted NO on prohibiting lawsuits against 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. Voting YES would:
Reference: Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act; Bill S 397 ; vote number 2005-219 on Jul 29, 2005

Voted NO on banning lawsuits against gun manufacturers for gun violence.

Vote to pass a bill that would block certain civil lawsuits against manufacturers, distributors, dealers and importers of firearms and ammunition, mainly those lawsuits aimed at making them liable for gun violence. In this bill, trade groups would also be protected The bill would call for the dismissal of pending lawsuits against the gun industry. The exception would be lawsuits regarding a defect in a weapon or ammunition. It also would provide a 10-year reauthorization of the assault weapons ban which is set to expire in September 2004. The bill would increase the penalties for gun-related violent or drug trafficking crimes which have not resulted in death, to a minimum of 15 years imprisonment. The bill calls for criminal background checks on all firearm transactions at gun shows where at least 75 guns are sold. Exemptions would be made available for dealers selling guns from their homes as well as members-only gun swaps and meets carried out by nonprofit hunting clubs.
Reference: Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act; Bill S.1805/H.R.1036 ; vote number 2004-30 on Mar 2, 2004

Voted YES 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 NO 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

Close the Gun Show Loophole; restrict show sales.

Schumer signed H.R.2324& S.843

    Makes it unlawful for any person to operate a gun show unless such person:
  1. has attained 21 years of age;
  2. is not prohibited from transporting, shipping, or receiving firearms and has not violated any federal firearms requirements;
  3. has registered with the Attorney General as a gun show operator and has provided a photograph and fingerprints;
  4. has not concealed material information nor made false statements in connection with a gun show operator registration; and
  5. notifies the Attorney General of the date, time, and duration of a gun show not later than 30 days before the commencement of such show and verifies the identity of each vendor at the gun show.
Imposes recordkeeping requirements on gun show operators and criminal penalties for failure to register as a gun show operator and maintain required records. Increases criminal penalties for serious recordkeeping violations and violations of criminal background check requirements. Authorizes the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to hire additional investigators to carry out inspections of gun shows.
Source: Gun Show Loophole Closing Act 09-HR2324 on May 7, 2009

Ban large-capacity ammunition.

Schumer co-sponsored Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act

Amends the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act

Source: H.R.138&S.33 13-S0033 on Jan 22, 2013

Other candidates on Gun Control: Charles Schumer on other issues:
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Andrew Cuomo
Bill de Blasio
Howie Hawkins
Kathy Hochul
Mike Bloomberg
Rob Astorino
Zephyr Teachout
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Page last updated: Aug 04, 2014