Janet Reno on Gun Control
Former Attorney General; Democratic Challenger FL Governor
Within days of signing the Brady bill, Clinton ordered a study of a national gun-licensing system. Reno had been advocating such a system for years. She saw it in simple terms: “I think it should at least as hard to get a license to possess a gun as it is to drive an automobile.“ And if safety on the road means drivers must prove proficiency behind the wheel, why shouldn’t gun owners be required to prove that they can safely handle a firearm? she asked. An NRA gun-safety course would be just fine.
The administration also proposed raising the fee for gun dealer’s licenses. [When the NRA protested], Reno responded that owning a gun, like driving a car, is a privilege, not a right.
Reno advocated passage of the bill on all the morning television news shows, in speeches around the country, and even in a promotion for a movie.
The National Rifle Association (NRA) labeled the bill “short on criminal justice and long on firearms restrictions.” When asked how she would “battle the powerful NRA,” Reno replied, “You battle ‘the powerful NRA’ with common sense. America has for too long watched what guns have done to people on our streets.”
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