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Dick Gephardt on Gun Control

Former Democratic Representative (MO-3); Former Democratic Candidate for President


Sensible gun safety legislation & right to possess firearms

I have strong beliefs in the need for sensible gun safety legislation. I led the effort in the mid 90s for the Brady Bill and the Assault Weapons Ban and I think both bills have helped reduce needless gun violence. Having said that I do support the right to possession of firearms by lawful citizens who are complying with all federal and state laws.
Source: Concord Monitor / WashingtonPost.com on-line Q&A Nov 3, 2003

Leading Dems distance themselves from divisive gun debate

Democratic presidential candidates are distancing themselves from tough gun control, reversing a decade of rhetoric and advocacy by the Democratic Party in favor of federal regulation of firearms.

Howard Dean proudly tells audiences that the NRA endorsed him as governor of Vermont, and that he would leave most gun laws to the states. Dick Gephardt, a longtime gun control advocate, is careful to highlight his support for law-abiding gun owners. John Edwards says, "Guns are about independence. They don't want people messing with that."

As a result, Democratic strategists predict the debate over gun laws in this campaign will be less divisive. Democrats might fight for narrow proposals to make guns safer and more difficult for children and criminals to obtain, they said, yet voters are likely to hear as much about enforcing existing gun laws as creating new ones-a position Republicans and the NRA have pushed for years.

Source: [X-ref Edwards] Jim VandeHei, Washington Post, p. A1 Oct 26, 2003

No additional authority for federal gun agency

Rep. Richard A. Gephardt, a longtime gun control advocate, is careful to highlight his support for law-abiding gun owners. The Missouri Democrat said he is not interested in giving the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives more authority to investigate gun crimes, a top priority for the gun control activist. "They have enough," he said in an interview.
Source: Jim VandeHei, Washington Post, p. A1 Oct 26, 2003

NRA opposes gun rules that vast majority support

When the majority of citizens fail to vote, they allow a minority to make decisions that affect all of us. Furthermore, that voting minority may be-increasingly is--a well-organized group with a special agenda directly opposed to the interests of the majority. I think particularly here of the power of the National Rifle Association, which has opposed gun control measures like a mandatory waiting period before buying a handgun so police records can be checked. Such rules are supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans, but the single-interest voting behavior of the minority of people who oppose them makes them almost impossible to enact.

The old saying goes, If you dont vote, you cant gripe. To that Id add, If you dont vote, you may eventually lose the right to vote. Democracy depends on participation, and without active citizens re-energizing democracy it is no given that democracy will last.

Source: An Even Better Place, by Dick Gephardt, p.219 Jul 2, 1999

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

Rated F by the NRA, indicating a pro-gun control voting record.

Gephardt scores F 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.

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

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Other candidates on Gun Control: Dick Gephardt on other issues:
MO Gubernatorial:
Bob Holden
Matt Blunt
MO Senatorial:
Jean Carnahan
Jim Talent
John Ashcroft
Kit Bond
Mel Carnahan
Nancy Farmer

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George W. Bush (GOP)
V.P.Dick Cheney (GOP-V.P.)
Sen.John Kerry (Dem.)
Sen.John Edwards (Dem.V.P.)
Ralph Nader (Reform)
Peter Camejo (Reform V.P.)
David Cobb (Green)
Michael Badnarik (Libertarian)
Michael Peroutka (Constitution)
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