Mitt Romney on The Second Amendment
Governor Romney has a solid record of pursuing gun control measures to control crime and increase safety. He is vocally supportive of the assault weapons ban, supported a waiting period, and supports registration. While Governor he continued Massachusetts's history of gun control advocacy.
In 2002, Mitt Romney stated in a debate that he supported the tough gun laws in Massachusetts and that he believed they help protect us and keep us safe. He vowed not to chip away at those laws.
While in office, Governor Romney supported the Brady bill and a waiting period because it was necessary to complete a background check. More recently, he has stated that with the advent of instant background checks, a waiting period is no longer required.
He stated that his views did not line up with the NRA. After initiating his Presidential campaign in 2007, Governor Romney joined the NRA with a lifetime membership. He asserted in a taped speech that he supported second amendment rights for all legal purposes, including the common defense.
In 2004, the federal ban on assault weapons expired. Before that happened, Governor Romney signed a bill to permanently ban assault weapons in Massachusetts. That same legislation also extended the term of a firearm identification card and a license to carry firearms from four years to six years, granted a 90-day grace period for holders of firearm identification cards and licenses to carry who have applied for renewal, and created a seven-member Firearm License Review Board to review firearm license applications that have been denied. Governor Romney later stated that the legislation was good overall for firearms owners because of these provisions. During the discussion over the ban, Governor Romney stated that assault weapons were not for hunting or self defense, but were instruments of destruction.
Governor Romney has been supportive of the second amendment in the general sense while campaigning for the Presidency in 2012, but continued to support an assault weapons ban in the 2008 elections. Since that time, he has stated that he does not believe that the nation wide assault weapons ban should be re-instituted.
He does not address the issue on his 2012 campaign website.
In 2002, Governor Romney participated in a debate while seeking the Governor's seat in Massachusetts. During that debate, he asserts his support for the strong gun laws in Massachusetts.
We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts. I support them. I won't chip away at them. I believe that they help protect us and provide for our safety.
Massachusetts Assault Weapons Ban
In 2004, both the national assault weapons ban and a state-wide ban on assault weapons expired. The state legislature of Massachusetts passed an assault weapons ban for the state which mirrored that national law with some additional provisions. The new law extended the term of a firearm identification card and a license to carry firearms from four years to six years, granted a 90-day grace period for holders of firearm identification cards and licenses to carry who have applied for renewal, and created a seven-member Firearm License Review Board to review firearm license applications that have been denied. When speaking at the signing of the legislation into law, Governor Romney stated the following:
Deadly assault weapons have no place in Massachusetts. These guns are not made for recreation or self-defense. They are instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people.
The section of law relating to the ban is shown below. We have not been able to locate that text of the actual legislation that Governor Romney signed.
ABC News Interview
In February of 2007, Governor Romney was interviewed by George Stephanopoulis for ABC News. He was asked about his support for the Brady bill.
South Carolina Debate
In May of 2007 Governor Romney participated in the South Carolina Presidential Debate. He was asked about his previous signing of an assault weapons ban and stated that while he supported second amendment rights, he also supported an assault weapons ban.
MR. WALLACE: Governor Romney, in 1994 you said you were a stronger advocate of gay rights than Ted Kennedy. As recently as five years ago you still supported a woman's right to choose. And as governor you signed into law one of the toughest restrictions on assault weapons in the country. Are you a clear and consistent conservative?
MR. ROMNEY: Well, let's get the record straight. First of all, there's no question that I support Second Amendment rights, but I also support an assault weapon ban. An in the -- with regards to gay rights, I have always been somebody who opposes discrimination. But I also consistently feel that it's critical to have marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman.
In December of 2007, Governor Romney made a video to be shown to an NRA convention which he was unable to attend. He states that he is a supporter of the second amendment.
I support the second amendment as one of the most basic and fundamental rights of every American. It's essential to our functioning as a free society, as are all the liberties enumerated in the bill of rights. I've been proud to have the support of pro-second amendment and sportsman's groups when I've run for office. I'd be proud to have your support again as I run for President.
Now, as Governor I worked closely with the NRA and the Gun Owners Action League to advance legislation that expanded the rights of gun owners in my state.
... As President, I'll honor the rights of decent law abiding citizens to own an use firearms in defense of their families and property, and for all other lawful purposes, including the common defense.
Meet the Press
In December of 2007, Governor Romney appeared on Meet the Press and spoke about gun laws and his view on the second amendment.
Londonderry Town Hall
In December of 2007 Governor Romney was asked about his view on the Second Amendment, and the original intent of the second amendment. He states that the original intent of the second amendment to allow people to fend off their government, Governor Romney states that the issue may no longer be relevant.
Boca Raton, Debate
In January of 2008 Governor Romney participated in a presidential debate in Boca Raton, Florida. Governor Huckabee asked Governor Romney a question about his previous assault weapons ban.
GOP South Carolina Debate
In January of 2012, Governor Romney participated in the Republican South Carolina Debate. He was asked about second amendment issues and states that he supports the second amendment rights of people.
 Website: iberkshires.com Article: Romney signs off on permanent assault weapons ban Author: NA Accessed on: 06/29/2011