Ron Paul on The Second Amendment

Last Updated : Jan 12, 2012

Summary

Congressman Paul is a strong supporter of the second amendment. He notes that the founding fathers did want Americans to own firearms for hunting, but that they also understood the need for each person to protect themselves and the need for the populace to overthrow a potential tyrannical government.

In 2003, Congressman Paul introduced legislation to remove the 5 day waiting period to own guns and to remove the "instant" background check at gun shows. He notes that this instant check allows the government to create a database of gun owners.

Congressman Paul has warned that the UN and other entities do not like the second amendment and with national politicians avoiding the issue of gun control as a known loser, these foreign entities represent the greatest threat to the second amendment.

Congressman Paul opposed the DC gun ban and supported the Supreme Court's ruling in DC vs Heller to overturn the ban. He noted prior to the ruling that if the court found the restriction reasonable, the second amendment would indeed be in trouble.

Congressman Paul has repeatedly stated that an armed society produces less crime than an unarmed society. He points to DC as having a high crime rate and a large number of restrictions on guns. He has also noted that people need to stop believing that the government will protect them in all cases. He notes that if the pilots on airplanes were known to be armed or the airline policies would have been to fight back against terrorists, then the 9/11 attacks may not have occurred.

While in office, Congressman Paul has voted against every gun law that has come up for a vote. This includes an amendment to close the loophole for background checks at gun shows, an amendment to  to allow a lawsuit against the seller if the seller should have known the purchaser intended to use the gun illegally, and an amendment to permit lawsuits for negligence purposes.

Despite being a supporter of the second amendment, Congressman Paul voted against the Protection in Lawful Commerce Act. He explains this vote by noting that establishing such a law in civil liability was outside the bounds of the federal government according to the Constitution. While he supported the intent, he opposed the law. 

During his time in office, Congressman Paul has also sponsored or co-sponsored a number of pro gun rights bills. These include co-sponsoring legislation to restore second amendment rights to D.C., sponsoring legislation to repeal the assault weapons ban and repeal the waiting period (2003), and sponsoring legislation to repeal the Brady Bill.

 

Restore the Second Amendment

In January of 2003, Congressman Paul spoke on the House floor about legislation that he was introducing to eliminate the 5 day waiting period and the instant background check.

 

Protection in Lawful Commerce

In April of 2003, Congressman Paul issued a statement noting his reasons for voting against the Protection in Lawful Commerce Act. Congressman Paul notes that while he sympathizes with the proponents of the legislation, the bill exceeds the Constitutional limits concerning civil liability.

 

World Wide Gun Control Movement

In June of 2006, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" address to discuss the gun control movement that is being put in place world wide.

 

The DC Gun Ban

In March of 2007, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" address to discuss the DC gun ban that had recently passed a federal court.

In February of 2008, Congressman Paul issued a press statement noting a letter that he and other Congressmen had sent to President Obama asking him to sign on to an amicus brief in support of ending the DC gun ban.

Also in February of 2008, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to address the situation concerning the DC gun ban.

In June of 2008, Congressman Paul issued a press statement noting his support for the decision that the DC gun ban was unconstitutional in the Heller case.

 

Campaign Video

In a 2008 campaign video, Congressman Paul discusses that second amendment rights apply not only to hunters, but that the founders wanted the people to be armed to defend against an abusive government. He notes that the lack of respect for the second amendment contributed to the 9/11 attacks.

 

Question after debate

When asked about the second amendment after a Presidential debate, Congressman Paul notes that the American people should not be dependent on government for protection. He notes that ultimate protection comes from the person. Congressman Paul also states that people need to protect themselves from government.

 

Google Interview

In a 2008 google interview with candidates, Congressman Paul notes that each company (such as google) should have the right to allow or deny people to carry weapons on their property.

 

Gun Control and Violence

In January of 2011, Congressman Paul used his "Texas Talk" to address the recent shooting of Congresswoman Giffords in Arizona and calls to address gun violence.

 

2012 Presidential Campaign Website Statements

 

Voting Record

National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011

In November of 2011, the House passed the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2011. The legislation was designed to amend the federal criminal code to authorize a person who is carrying a government-issued photographic identification document and a valid permit to carry a concealed firearm in one state to carry a concealed handgun in another state in accordance with the restrictions of that state. It passed the House with the support of almost all Republicans and about 1/4 of the Democrats. Ron Paul cast a "No Vote"

The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act

In 2005, Congress passed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. The act "Prohibits a qualified civil liability action from being brought in any state or federal court against a manufacturer or seller of a firearm, ammunition, or a component of a firearm that has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, or against a trade association of such manufacturers or sellers, for damages, punitive damages, injunctive or declaratory relief, abatement, restitution, fines, penalties, or other relief resulting from the criminal or unlawful misuse of a firearm. The act passed the house in October of 2005 in roll call 534 with the support of almost all Republicans and more than 1/3 of the Democrats. Ron Paul voted against the The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

Ron Paul voted against the The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act

In 2003, Congress attempted to pass similar legislation as in 2005. The bill passed the House in a 285-140 vote. Ron Paul voted against the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

Ron Paul voted against the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

Amendment - Negligence

As an amendment to the 2003 Lawful commerce act, Congress sought to permit liability actions against firearms manufacturers, sellers, or trade associations for negligence. The amendment failed by a vote of 144-280. Ron Paul voted against the amendment to permit lawsuits for negligence purposes.

Ron Paul voted against the amendment to permit lawsuits for negligence purposes.

Amendment - Third Party

As another amendment to the 2003 Lawful Commerce Act, Congress sought to allow lawsuits to be brought against gun manufacturers and dealers for damages that are caused by the criminal misuse of that product by a third party if the firearm transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe that the recipient is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance or has been adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution. The amendment failed by a vote of 134-289. Ron Paul voted against the amendment to allow a lawsuit if the seller should have known the purchaser intended to use the gun illegally.

Ron Paul voted against the amendment to allow a lawsuit if the seller should have known the purchaser intended to use the gun illegally.

Amendment - Conviction of Transferor

As another amendment to the 2003 Lawful commerce act, Congress sought to eliminate the requirement for the conviction of a transferor before a liability action could be taken. The amemdment failed 148-278. Ron Paul voted against eliminating the requirement that the transferor be convicted before a liability action could be taken.

Ron Paul voted against eliminating the requirement that the transferor be convicted before a liability action could be taken.

Gun Show Background Checks

In 1999, the House attempted to pass legislation to close a loophole that allows people to purchase firearms at gun shows without a background check. The Mandatory Gun Show Background Check Act failed to pass in the house due to very little support from the Democrats and only moderate support from the Republicans. Ron Paul voted against the Mandatory Gun Show Background Check Act.

Ron Paul voted against the Mandatory Gun Show Background Check Act.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 1684; Preservation of the Second Amendment in National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges Act - Cosponsor

Allows, except as provided under federal criminal law relating to the possession of firearms and other dangerous weapons in federal facilities, a person to possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded, and operable firearms within a national park area or national wildlife refuge area in accordance with the laws of the state in which such area is located.

Session-112; Bill Number-H R 126; Fairness in Firearm Testing Act - Cosponsor

Amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to direct the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to make a video recording of the entire process of its examination and testing of an item for the purpose of determining whether the item is a firearm (and if so, the type of firearm) or ammunition. Bars ATF from editing or erasing any such recording. Directs ATF to make available a digital video disc that contains a copy of the recording: (1) at the request of a person who claims an ownership interest in such item; and (2) to a defendant in a criminal proceeding involving such item. Provides that an item which ATF has determined is a firearm or ammunition shall not be admissible as evidence unless: (1) ATF has complied with the requirements of this Act to make its digital video disc available; or (2) such compliance has been waived in writing by the person against whom the item is offered as evidence.

Session-111; Bill Number-H R 1684; Preservation of the Second Amendment in National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges Act - Cosponsor

Allows, except as provided under federal criminal law relating to the possession of firearms and other dangerous weapons in federal facilities, a person to possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded, and operable firearms within a national park area or national wildlife refuge area in accordance with the laws of the state in which such area is located.

Session-110; Bill Number-H R 1399; District of Columbia Personal Protection Act - Cosponsor

To restore Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia.

Session-112; Bill Number-H R 126; Fairness in Firearm Testing Act - Cosponsor

Amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to direct the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to make a video recording of the entire process of its examination and testing of an item for the purpose of determining whether the item is a firearm (and if so, the type of firearm) or ammunition. Bars ATF from editing or erasing any such recording. Directs ATF to make available a digital video disc that contains a copy of the recording: (1) at the request of a person who claims an ownership interest in such item; and (2) to a defendant in a criminal proceeding involving such item. Provides that an item which ATF has determined is a firearm or ammunition shall not be admissible as evidence unless: (1) ATF has complied with the requirements of this Act to make its digital video disc available; or (2) such compliance has been waived in writing by the person against whom the item is offered as evidence.

Session-109; Bill Number-H R 1288; District of Columbia Personal Protection Act - Cosponsor

To restore Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia.

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