Tim Kaine on Gun Control

Democratic Senate Challenger; previously Governor


Ban assault weapons, high-capacity ammo, & bump stocks

Q: Support more restrictive gun control legislation? Restrict semi-automatic weapons?

Tim Kaine (D): Yes. Co-sponsored bill to ban military-style assault weapons, high-capacity ammunition magazines, & bump stocks. Supports improved background checks.

Corey Stewart (R): No. Supports absolute right to gun ownership. Gave away a semi-automatic rifle in raffle to highlight his position.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Virginia Senate race , Oct 9, 2018

Background checks get bipartisan support after marches

Q: Thousands of students filled the streets, but it's anyone's guess whether their voices will translate into further action on gun control in Congress.

KAINE: Bluntly, the NRA leadership, funded by gun manufacturers, has basically been able to gridlock everything in Congress now for nearly decades. That's why Congress has not been willing to act, even to do things that an overwhelming majority of the American public want us to do. But the activism of these young people is actually changing the equation.

Q: These young people see inaction from all of Congress, Republicans and Democrats. Does your party bear responsibility too?

KAINE: Yes, Democrats participated, for example, to give gun manufacturers liability protection, to wall off the CDC from researching gun violence. But this now goes back a ways. In recent years, the Democratic Party in Congress has been nearly unified, especially on background checks, for example. Very few Republicans would support it.

Source: CNN 2018 interviews of 2020 hopefuls , Mar 25, 2018

More restrictions gun purchases, including no-fly list

Q: Should there be more restrictions on the current process of purchasing a gun?

Tim Kaine's answer: Yes

Mike Pence's answer: No

Evan McMullin's answer: No

Q: Should people on the "no-fly list" be banned from purchasing guns and ammunition?

Tim Kaine's answer: Yes

Mike Pence has not answered this question yet.

Evan McMullin's answer: No, it is unconstitutional to deny someone's rights without due process

Source: iSideWith.com analysis of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Nov 1, 2016

I'm a gun owner but I'm scarred from scourge of gun violence

I'm a gun-owner. I'm a strong Second Amendment supporter. But I've got a lot of scar tissue, because when I was governor of Virginia, there was a horrible shooting at Virginia Tech, and we learned that gaps in the background record check system should have been closed and it could have prevented that crime. And if we do, we won't have the tragedies that we did. We can support the Second Amendment and do things like background record checks and make us safer, and that will make police safer, too.
Source: 2016 Vice-Presidential Debate at Longwood University , Oct 4, 2016

After VA Tech shooting, closed background check loophole

We shed tears together in the days after that horrible mass shooting at Virginia Tech that killed 32 people from beautiful 19-year-old students to 70-plus-year- old Romanian-born Holocaust survivors. Afterwards we rolled up our sleeves and we fixed the loophole in the background record check system so that we could make our commonwealth safer. We got have to do that in the nation.
Source: Speech at 2016 Democratic National Convention , Jul 27, 2016

Limit size of magazines and ammunition clips

Q: Are you in favor of an assault weapons ban?

KAINE: I have voted for it, but I think there's a better way to go at the problem. And that is limitations on the size of magazines and ammunition clips.

Q: Do you think an AR-15 should be sold?

KAINE: I had voted for it and I would likely vote for it again. But here's a practical problem that I think you're aware of. As soon as you define what an assault weapon is, you know, "you can't sell a weapon, and here's how we describe it," gun manufacturers just make one adjustment or two, and they say, "See, this isn't subject to the limitation." Whereas if you say, "You can't sell an ammunition clip or a magazine that would have more than ten or 12 rounds"--that is very straightforward.

Q: You believe ammunition is the way to go?

KAINE: I really think that's probably the way to tackle the problem more effectively.

Source: Meet the Press 2016 interviews of Veepstakes candidates , Jun 26, 2016

Gun violence causes unbearable pain; stand up to gun lobby

As Governor during the tragic shooting at Virginia Tech, Tim understands the unbearable pain gun violence causes in communities across the country. Tim has called on his colleagues in Congress to stand up to the gun lobby that no longer represents the views of gun owners in our country and finally pass reforms that the American people support to curb gun violence. This includes strengthened background checks, increased resources to enforce gun laws, and improved mental health treatment.

As Tim works to combat the epidemic of opioid addiction that is hurting Virginia, he has spoken with law enforcement across the state about spikes in crime related to drug abuse. Tim strongly supports providing communities with additional tools to prevent and treat drug addiction, including through education, drug courts, and resources for law enforcement. He also introduced legislation to help prevent opioid overdose deaths through increased access to the life-saving drug naloxone.

Source: Virginia 2012 Senate campaign website KaineForVA.com , Feb 29, 2012

Limit high-capacity clips to no more than ten bullets

Tim Kaine said that he supports measures to restrict the number of bullets that can be fired from a single magazine. "[The proposal by Carolyn McCarthy is the] kind of legislation that I've long supported," Kaine said, of legislation that would limit high-capacity clips to no more than ten bullets, "back from the days when there was an assault weapons ban, before it expired."

"I have long been a supporter of what I think are reasonable regulations, the kind of contemplated, frankly, by the Second Amendment, and I think those and others would be reasonable," Kaine said. "In Virginia we worked in the aftermath of Virginia Tech to do some important things on the databases of folks who have been adjudicated mentally ill and dangerous so that they couldn't purchase guns."

Kaine's backing of McCarthy's measure is not--at least in these times--necessarily surprising. Though he is a prominent supporter of the Second Amendment, other gun rights enthusiasts have said they are open to the idea as well

Source: Huffington Post report on "Political Capital with Al Hunt" , Jan 21, 2011

Instant background checks including mental health database

The shootings at Virginia Tech point out areas where change is needed. Both state and federal law prohibit a person who has been found by a court to be a danger to himself or others from buying a firearm. Until last April, there was no clear policy stating that a person ordered to involuntary outpatient treatment should be reported to the Central Criminal Records Exchange and kept from purchasing a weapon.

I issued an Executive Order to clarify that all who are determined mentally ill and dangerous should be included in the state database. This helped spur Congress to pass meaningful, bipartisan legislation to encourage the same result on a national level.

Since 1991, Virginia has required that anyone purchasing any type of firearm from a licensed dealer undergo a background check. I support 2nd Amendment rights, but if we are to enforce current law keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals, we must require instant background checks for purchase of weapons at gun shows.

Source: 2008 State of the State address to Virginia Assembly , Jan 9, 2008

Prevent gun sales if buyer declared dangerously mentally ill

Kaine signed an executive order closing a loophole that allowed the Virginia Tech shooter to purchase firearms even though he had been declared dangerously mentally ill. Kaine said he instructed state agencies to block gun sales to people involuntarily committed to inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment.

"We realized this is something we could fix right now, and we didn't want to wait," Kaine said. [The Virginia Tech shooter was an outpatient and hence not on the previous list]. The names of those ordered for treatment will be submitted to the FBI's central criminal records database, which licensed gun dealers nationwide are supposed to check.

Kaine said the order is limited because Kaine can do only so much without legislative approval. The order is not retroactive, and also does not affect people who seek treatment voluntarily. And even if someone's name appears in the database, there are ways for him to obtain a gun, such as one-on-one sales at a gun show.

Source: Washington Post, "Ban to mentally ill," by Tim Craig , May 1, 2007

Vetoed allowing locked concealed weapons in motor vehicles

HB 1106: Creates a new exemption to the general prohibition against carrying concealed weapons by allowing a handgun in a private motor vehicle or boat if the handgun is locked.

Summary in favor by the NRA-ILA: HB 1106 allowing concealed carry without a permit on personal property and in a motor vehicle, provided the person carrying the firearm notifies a law enforcement agent of the firearm during a traffic stop.

Veto message from Governor Tim Kaine:This measure runs contrary to existing state law, allowing persons who have not completed a criminal background check, and who are untrained with a handgun, to possess a firearm in a concealed manner. It presents a danger to our law enforcement officers. The objections of law enforcement to this measure are compelling.

Legislative Outcome: Passed by Senate 23-17-0 on Mar/6/06; Passed by House 70-24-6 on Mar/9/06; Vetoed by Governor Kaine on Apr/11/06

Source: Virginia Legislative voting record HB 1106 , Apr 11, 2006

Strongly supports the Second Amendment

Tim Kaine strongly supports the Second Amendment. As the next Governor of Virginia, he will not propose any new gun laws. Instead Tim Kaine will guarantee strict enforcement of our existing criminal laws. He will also expand the use of such enforcement strategies as Project Exile that target criminals who use guns rather than law-abiding gun owners.
Source: 2005 Gubernatorial campaign website kaine2005.org, "Issues" , Nov 8, 2005

Supports restricting the Second Amendment.

Kaine supports the CC Voters Guide question on the Second Amendment

Christian Coalition publishes a number of special voter educational materials including the Christian Coalition Voter Guides, which provide voters with critical information about where candidates stand on important faith and family issues. The Christian Coalition Voters Guide summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Further restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms"

Source: Christian Coalition Voter Guide 12-CC-q10 on Oct 31, 2012

Co-sponsored background check for every firearm sale.

Kaine 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`.