Earth & Conservation

Where Do Republican Candidates Stand On Gun Control?

Despite a rise in mass shootings, U.S. gun control laws have barely budged. So what do Republican candidates have to say about gun control?

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Ben Carson
In 2013, when Dr. Ben Carson began receiving more national attention as a conservative leader, he said he believed people in densely populated areas should not have access but semi-automatic guns. However, he went on to say that people living in more rural areas could own them. More recently, Carson has advocated for preventing mass shootings by maintaining a national database of individuals prone to mental illness. He is against any sort of registry for gun owners, though. He has also expressed his support for lifting the ban on studying gun violence as a public health issue.

Donald Trump
In his 2000 book, The America We Deserve, Trump stated his support for expanded gun control. However, in this election cycle, he has come out staunchly against any new gun control measures, including bans on assault rifles and improved background checks.

Marco Rubio
Senator Marco Rubio has said the core issue with mass shootings is not access to guns, but violence itself. Generally speaking, he says gun control laws simply will not work with criminals because they are, well, criminals.

Ted Cruz
Senator Ted Cruz is a fierce defender of gun ownership. While on the campaign trail, he has said that gun owners are the only line of defense against "bad guys," such as the shooters who carried out the massacre in San Bernardino, California.

Chris Christie
Governor Chris Christie has passed gun control measures in New Jersey, including expanded background checks and incorporating mental health considerations for gun sales. He has also passed measures that ban assault weapons.

Learn More:
Why Conservatives Mistrust Even Modest Efforts at Gun Control (theatlantic.com)
"Liberals tend to blame the gun lobby for blocking new regulations, but they dismiss firearm owners' fear of government at their own political peril."

Paul, Cruz threaten filibuster on guns (politico.com)
"Sens. Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee are threatening to filibuster gun-control legislation, according to a letter they plan to hand-deliver to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office on Tuesday."

Donald Trump was not always such a strong supporter of gun ownership (fusion.net)
"Donald Trump's campaign seems to have the momentum of a runaway freight train even while the GOP frontrunner speaks out time and time again against the issues that younger voters actually care about."

10 things to know about Chris Christie and gun control (onpolitics.usatoday.com)
"Gov. Chris Christie, vying for the Republican nomination for president in a field where opposition to new gun control laws is de rigueur, says President Obama's new push to restrict access to assault weapons is 'absurd.'"