Recently, concerns have been raised in response to statements made by NRA Board Member Joaquin Jackson to Texas Monthly in 2005. We have receivedquestions from NRA members who are seeking clarity as to NRA’s positions on the subject matter discussed in Mr. Jackson’s interview. To be clear, NRA supports the right of all law-abiding citizens to Keep and Bear Arms for all lawful purposes. We will continue, as we have in the past, to vigorously oppose any efforts to limit gun ownership by law-abiding citizens as an unconstitutional infringement on our Second Amendment freedoms. These efforts include opposition to any attempts to ban firearms, including firearms incorrectly referred to as "assault weapons", and any attempts to place arbitrary limits on magazine capacity.
STATEMENT OF JOAQUIN JACKSON
Recently, some misunderstandings have arisen about a news interview in which I participated a few years ago. After recently watching a tape of that interview, I understand the sincere concerns of many people, including dear friends of mine. And I am pleased and eager to clear up any confusion about my long held belief in the sanctity of the Second Amendment.
In the interview, when asked about my views of “assault weapons,” I was talking about true assault weapons – fully automatic firearms. I was not speaking, in any way, about semiautomatic rifles. While the media may not understand this critical distinction, I take it very seriously. But, as a result, I understand how some people may mistakenly take my comments to mean that I support a ban on civilian ownership of semiautomatic firearms. Nothing could be further from the truth. And, unfortunately, the interview was cut short before I could fully explain my thoughts and beliefs.
In fact, I am a proud owner of such rifles, as are millions of law-abiding Americans. And many Americans also enjoy owning fully automatic firearms, after being cleared by a background check and meeting the rigorous regulations to own such firearms. And these millions of lawful gun owners have every right – and a Second Amendment right – to own them.
As a hunter, I take great pride in my marksmanship. Every hunter should practice to be skilled to take prey with a single shot, if possible. That represents ethical, humane, skilled hunting. In the interview several years ago, I spoke about this aspect of hunting and my belief that no hunter should take the field and rely upon high capacity magazines to take their prey.
But that comment should never be mistaken as support for the outright banning of any ammunition magazines. In fact, such bans have been pursued over the years by state legislatures and the United States Congress and these magazine bans have always proven to be abject failures.
Let me be very clear. As a retired Texas Ranger, during 36 years of law enforcement service, I was sworn to uphold the United States Constitution. As a longtime hunter and shooter, an NRA Board Member, and as an American – I believe the Second Amendment is a sacred right of all law-abiding Americans and, as I stated in the interview in question, I believe it is the Second Amendment that ensures all of our other rights handed down by our Founding Fathers.
I have actively opposed gun bans and ammunition and magazine bans in the past, and I will continue to actively oppose such anti-gun schemes in the future.
I appreciate my friends who have brought this misunderstanding to light, for it has provided me an opportunity to alleviate any doubts about my strong support for the NRA and our Second Amendment freedom.