Skip to content

GOP Debate: Rubio Criticizes Gun Control, Does Not Mention His Vote for 1999 Gun Ban


During the March 3 GOP debate Marco Rubio criticized gun control as “not effective” against criminals but did not mention his vote for a 1999 gun ban while a city commissioner in West Miami.

Moreover, Rubio did not explain why he voted for such a ban if gun control is “not effective” against criminals to begin with.


Fox News host Bret Baier initiated the talk on guns and gun control by asking Rubio, “What limits would you draw around the Second Amendment?”

Rubio responded by saying he would allow as few limits as possible to be drawn, then said:

The Second Amendment is not, as I’ve said before, a suggestion. It is the constitutional right of every American to protect themselves and their families. It is the Second Amendment for a reason; it is right after the defense of the freedom of speech for a reason. Clearly the founders of our nation understood and the framers of our constitution understood that you cannot have life and you cannot have liberty and you cannot pursue happiness if you are not safe.

Quick point–Rubio’s vote for a gun ban in “county and municipal parks” took place during a March 3, 1999 “Regular Commission Meeting.” Breitbart News published the minutes from the meeting and the CCTV video of the meeting as well, both of which show the vote for the gun ban was unanimous between the commissioners. Yet Rubio did not explain how law-abiding citizens, disarmed by a ban on guns for self-defense in “county and municipal parks,” could be guaranteed the safety necessary to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness while deprived of a gun in such a park.

On Feb. 27, Ted Cruz brought up Rubio’s vote to “ban guns from city parks” while a commissioner in West Miami City. The next day, Texas Tribune reporter Patrick Svitek tweeted that the Rubio campaign described Cruz’s allegation as a lie, saying, “Senator Cruz is getting increasingly desperate and giving up on trying to tell voters the truth. Marco is proud of his strong support for and record of standing up for the Second Amendment and no amount of Cruz lies can change that.”

But Rubio was called out on gun issues long before this presidential campaign cycle begin. On November 7, 2009, the Tampa Bay Times reported that former NRA president Marion Hammer made clear that she not impressed with Rubio’s energy for pro-gun issues while he was Florida House Speaker (2007-2008). Hammer said, “He was a big disappointment to us when he was the speaker. He talked the talk, but he didn’t walk the walk.”

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at

Comment count on this article reflects comments made on and Facebook. Visit Breitbart's Facebook Page.