Kamala Harris on Gun Control

Democratic candidate for President (withdrawn); California Senator


Mandatory buyback for 5 million assault weapons

Q: [to Elizabeth Warren]: you support a voluntary gun buyback of assault style weapons; why not a mandatory one?

Senator Warren: I want to use the method we used with machine guns. We registered them. We put in a huge penalty if you didn't register them and a huge tax on them and let people turn them in, and it got machine guns out of the hands of people.

Q: Senator Harris, you think the buyback should be mandatory?

Senator Harris: Five million assault weapons are on the streets of America today. During the course of this debate, eight people will die from gun violence. We need action, and Congress has had years to act and failed because they do not have the courage. When I'm elected, I'll give them 100 days to pull their act together, put a bill on my desk for signature and if they don't, I will take executive action and put in place a comprehensive background check requirement and ban the importation of assault weapons into our country, because it is time to act.

Source: October Democratic CNN/NYTimes Primary debate , Oct 15, 2019

Trump didn't pull trigger, but he tweeted out the ammunition

The idea that we would wait for Congress, which has just done nothing to act [on gun control], is just overlooking the fact that every day in America, our babies are going to school to have drills where they are learning about how they have to hide in a closet or crouch in a corner if there is a mass shooter roaming the hallways of their school.

I was talking about this at one of my town halls, and-and this child who was eight years old came up to me--it was like it was a secret between the two of us, and he tugged on my jacket and he said, "I had to have one of those drills." It is traumatizing our children.

In El Paso [after a recent mass shooting] they said, "Well, do you think Trump is responsible for what happened?" And I said, "Well, look, I mean, obviously, he didn't pull the trigger, but he's certainly been tweeting out the ammunition."

Source: September Democratic Primary debate in Houston , Sep 12, 2019

Executive action on gun control if Congress won't do it

The problem is Congress has not had the courage to act which is why when elected president, I will give Congress 100 days to bring all these good ideas together and put a bill on my desk for signature. If they do not, I will take executive action and put in place the most comprehensive background check policy we've had. I will require the ATF to take the licenses of gun dealers who violate the law. I will ban by executive order the importation of assault weapons.
Source: June Democratic Primary debate (second night in Miami) , Jun 27, 2019

If Congress won't act on guns, I will, by executive action

If by my 100th day in office Congress fails to put a bill on my desk, I'm prepared to take executive action. Anyone who sells more than five guns a year will be required to perform background checks. I'm prepared to direct the ATF to remove the licenses of gun dealers who fail to follow the law. 90% of guns associated with crime have been sold by 5% of the gun dealers. We need to take their licenses away.
Source: CNN SOTU 2019 interview of presidential hopefuls , May 12, 2019

If Congress won't pass gun laws, do it by executive action

I will give Congress 100 days to pass reasonable gun safety laws. If they fail, then I will take executive action. I will require that anyone who sells more than five guns a year [be] required to do background checks. I will require that for any gun dealer that breaks the law, the ATF take their license. The current administration took fugitives off the list of prohibited people. I'd put them back on. Fugitives from justice should not be able to purchase a handgun or any kind of weapon.
Source: CNN Town Hall 2020: 5 candidates back-to-back , Apr 22, 2019

No reason we have assault weapons in a civil society

While fielding a question about gun violence, Harris called out Congress for the lack of gun control legislation. She even suggested "harsh" means to encourage Congress to introduce a new bill. Harris started her discussion about gun reform by saying: "You can be in favor of the second amendment and also understand that there is no reason in a civil society that we have assault weapons around communities that can kill babies and police officers."

Harris became even more impassioned while discussing the inaction by congress following the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting that took the lives of 20 children between the ages 6 and 7. She said: "I think somebody should have required all those members of Congress to go in a room, in a locked room, no press, nobody else, and look at the autopsy photographs of those babies. And then you vote your conscience."

Source: Yahoo Entertainment Video on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Jan 29, 2019

We cannot tolerate society with our babies being slaughtered

Sen. Kamala Harris is increasingly positioning herself for a what is expected to be a crowded Democratic primary for the White House in 2020, allowing her to seek the progressive mantle.

Harris has sought to highlight her positions on gun control while carving out an identity as a hard-core critic of the National Rifle Association. This week, she was quick to highlight an attack by the NRA's chief at the Conservative Political Action Conference. "I am not going to be silenced by attacks from the NRA or anyone else," she wrote on Twitter, minutes after NRA chief Wayne LaPierre labeled Harris and other Democrats as "new European-style socialists bearing down upon us."

Last week, after the nation began another discussion on gun control following the shooting at a Florida high school, Harris immediately weighed in on MSNBC.

"We cannot tolerate a society and live in a country with any level of pride when our babies are being slaughtered," she said in a video that quickly went viral.

Source: Amie Parnes in The Hill on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Feb 26, 2018

No gun ownership for dangerous convicts or mentally ill

Harris said she wants to bring a rational approach to issues such as drug policy and gun control that doesn't cast them as all-or-nothing choices, though she was took liberal positions on those issues. "It's just pretty simple, reasonable stuff. If somebody has been convicted of a felony that proves them to be a dangerous person, they should not be able to own a gun. If somebody has been found by a court to be mentally ill to the point that they are danger to themselves or other people they should not be able to own or possess a gun," she said.
Source: San Gabriel Valley Tribune on 2016 California Senate debate , Apr 25, 2016

Rated 7% by the NRA, indicating a pro-gun control voting record.

Harris scores 7% by NRA on pro-gun rights policies - NRA Political Victory Fund

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 10-NRA on Aug 11, 2010

Supports restrictions on right to bear arms.

Harris supports the CC survey question on Second Amendment

The Christian Coalition Voter Guide inferred whether candidates agree or disagree with the statement, 'Further Restrictions on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms' The Christian Coalition notes, "You can help make sure that voters have the facts BEFORE they cast their votes. We have surveyed candidates in the most competitive congressional races on the issues that are important to conservatives."

Source: Christian Coalition Survey 16_CC10 on Nov 8, 2016

Co-sponsored background check for every firearm sale.

Harris co-sponsored the Bipartisan Background Checks Act

H.R.8: To require a background check for every firearm sale. This Act may be cited as the "Background Check Expansion Act".