Democrat presidential hopeful Kamala Harris has a long history of gun control support.
Some of her best known gun control pushes have been for bans on commonly-owned semiautomatic firearms and firearm accessories. But the historical record also finds her taking pains to make concealed carry permits more difficult for law-abiding citizens to obtain.
Taken together, her gun control history presents a would-be presidential candidate at war with Second Amendment in the same way that Hillary Clinton warred against it in 2016.
Ban on Commonly-Owned Semiautomatic Firearms–Whether you look at Harris’ time as California Attorney General or view her through the prism of her current office as Senator, she is opposed to Americans owning some of the most popular semiautomatic firearms on the market. Harris wants a ban that covers AR-15s and AK-47s, as well as numerous semiautomatic shotguns and similar firearms. She presents such a ban as a solution to crime, as if such firearms are a weapon of choice for criminals. However, FBI crime stats show that over four times as many people are stabbed to death annually than are killed with rifles of any kind.
Ban on Bump Stocks–Bump stocks are a firearm accessory that allow semiautomatic firearms to mimic fully automatic ones for a brief time. Such stocks do not convert semiautomatics into automatics. Rather, they help the gun owner use a bump fire technique to shoot faster, but with far less accuracy. Bump stocks have been used criminally one time since they were invented. A ban on the devices would not have prevented a single mass shooting in the U.S. during the 21st century.
Ban 18-20 Year Olds from Buying Long Guns–Harris wants to ban 18-20 year olds from buying long guns. She undertook this push after the February 14, 2018, attack on the Parkland high school, in which a gunman opened fire inside a building while a deputy stood outside and refused to confront him. She has not said whether other constitutional rights of 18-20 year olds, like freedom of speech and of religion, would remain inviolate, but Second Amendment rights would not be enjoyed until the age of 21.
Criminalization of Private Gun Sales–Harris supports the criminalization of private gun sales. Such criminalization would be accomplished via universal background checks, which Harris strongly supports. Americans have enjoyed private gun sales since 1791, the year the Second Amendment was ratified. But under a framework supported by Harris (and House Democrats), it would be a criminal act for a neighbor to sell a gun to a lifelong neighbor without getting government permission via a background check. In the same way, it would be criminal for a friend to sell a gun to a lifelong friend without government permission. Yet while neighbors and friends were being criminalized, Harris’ efforts would do nothing to stop mass shooters because nearly every mass shooter already acquires his guns via background checks.
Fight Against Concealed Carry–During her time as California Attorney General, Harris fought against citizens’ ability to secure a concealed carry permit. She did this most obviously in her fight to preserve the “good cause” requirement in California’s concealed carry law. That requirement means a citizen who has no criminal record, and therefore no reason to be denied a concealed permit, must still convince the state that he or she has “good cause” for carrying a gun for self-defense. On February 13, 2014, Breitbart News reported that a three judge panel from the Ninth Circuit struck down the “good cause” requirement. AG Harris responded by pressuring the court to rehear the case en banc, which the court did. As a result, they overturned the earlier decision and upheld the “good cause” requirement, giving the state final say in who can or cannot get a concealed carry license.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.