The field of 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls is comprised of candidates running on pro-gun platforms, yet there are variations candidate-to-candidate regarding their positions on specific issues.
This is the Breitbart News guide to the GOP candidates’ positions on concealed carry.
Donald Trump: Trump fully supports concealed carry. He has a license to carry and has made clear his belief that armed citizens are a key to preventing high profile shootings and Paris-style terror attacks, or at least reducing the magnitude of such events. Breitbart News previously reported on Trump’s September 2015 policy paper in which he contends, “Concealed carry…is a right, not a privilege.”
Ted Cruz: Cruz fully supports concealed carry and is endorsed by Gun Owners of America, a clear indicator of the strength of his pro-gun positions. Breitbart News previously reported that Cruz co-sponsored legislation for national reciprocity of concealed carry permits. That legislation would have meant a concealed carry permit from any one state would be valid in the other 49 states, just like a driver’s license.
Marco Rubio: Rubio fully supports concealed carry. He supports national reciprocity for concealed carry permits. Speaking to The Washington Times, Rubio said, “I don’t think your constitutional rights end at the border of one state versus another state.” Breitbart News previously reported that former NRA president Marion Hammer said Rubio “[had] not been a friend to gun owners” while Florida House Speaker in 2008. But the NRA-ILA’s Chris Cox told Breitbart News, “Anyone who suggests that Marco Rubio is not a strong defender of the Second Amendment is either uneducated on the issue or is intentionally trying to mislead voters.”
Ben Carson: Carson fully supports concealed carry. Breitbart News previously reported that Carson took heat from gun control groups and the mainstream media for championing concealed carry on college campuses after the October 1 Umpqua Community College attack. Carson told The Christian Science Monitor that gun-free campuses lead to danger. He said students need to be allowed to be armed for self-defense because “[gunmen] aren’t likely to go into a place where they are likely to get shot.”
Jeb Bush: Bush fully supports concealed carry. In April 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported that as Governor of Florida, Bush “signed numerous bills extending new rights to gun owners, including those to expand protections for people permitted to carry concealed firearms.” He also signed Florida’s Stand Your Ground legislation into law.
Chris Christie: Christie says he now supports concealed carry, but he opposed it as recently 2009. Face the Nation reported that Christie’s 2009 campaign released a statement, saying, “Chris Christie supports the assault weapons ban and all current gun laws. He opposes attempts to permit conceal and carry laws in New Jersey.”
John Kasich: Kasich fully supports concealed carry. On December 19, 2014, the NRA-ILA reported that Governor Kasich signed legislation streamlining the process for acquiring a concealed carry license–making such licenses quicker to acquire–and also expanded permit reciprocity with other states.
Mike Huckabee: Huckabee fully supports concealed carry. The Washington Times reported that Huckabee responded to the heinous Charleston church shooting by arguing that an armed concealed carry permit holder “could have stopped the shooter.” Huckabee observed, “It sounds crass, but frankly the best way to stop a bad person with a gun is to have a good person with a weapon that is equal or superior to the one that he’s using.”
Carly Fiorina: Fiorina is pro-gun, pro-Second Amendment. According to NBC News, Fiorina responded to the Democrats’ post-Charleston gun control push by saying, “Before we start calling for more laws, I think we ought to consider why we don’t enforce the laws we have.” And regarding the October 1 Umpqua Community College attack, Fiorina pointed out that the school already had 100 percent gun control–it was a gun free zone–but “the individual who committed the crime didn’t abide” by the rules that law-abiding citizens follow.
Rand Paul: Paul is a strong proponent of concealed carry. In December 2015 The Washington Examiner reported on Paul’s introduction of legislation to legalize concealed carry in Washington DC. Paul said, “I am a huge believer not only in the Second Amendment, but in self-defense…I think that we should encourage concealed carry in all the states and the District of Columbia.” Paul also supports arming “all…commercial air pilots.”
Rick Santorum: Santorum fully supports concealed carry. He responded to the November 27 Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shootings by stressing the need for more concealed carry. Salon quoted Santorum saying, “The more people that we have responsibly carrying, the less violence we are going to have in this country. I believe that responsible people carrying weapons actually reduces crime in America and saves people’s lives.”
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