Fairfax, Va. - At a rally in Lebanon, Virginia in front of a crowd of rural voters, Barack Obama made another one of his empty election-year promises not to take away shotguns, rifles or handguns if elected President. However, Obama's words on the campaign trail do not match his long record of opposing lawful gun ownership.
"NRA will not allow Barack Obama to revise history. That is why we will be sending this fact sheet of Obama votes to wherever hunters and gun owners congregate and to 4 million NRA members to share with their friends and neighbors." said Chris W. Cox, NRA's chief lobbyist. "He has supported bans on handguns and semi-automatic firearms, and he has voted to ban possession of many shotguns and rifles commonly used by hunters and sportsmen across America. And we will remind voters every single time he lies."
In 2003 while serving in the Illinois State Legislature, Obama voted in favor of a bill in the Judiciary Committee that would have made it illegal to "knowingly manufacture, deliver or possess" a so-called "semi-automatic assault weapons." Under this bill, a firearm did not actually have to be semi-automatic to be banned. According to definitions in the bill, all single-shot and double-barreled shotguns 28-gauge or larger, and many semi-automatic shotguns of the same size, would be banned as "assault weapons." This definition would have banned a large percentage of the shotguns used for hunting, target shooting and self-defense in the United States. The bill also would have banned hundreds of models of rifles and handguns.
Any Illinois resident who possessed one of these commonly used guns 90 days after the effective date would have had to "destroy the weapon or device, render it permanently inoperable, relinquish it to a law enforcement agency, or remove it from the state." Anyone who still possessed a banned gun would have been subject to a felony sentence.
"Obama may argue the bill was poorly drafted," said Cox. "But Barack Obama - who brags about being a constitutional law professor and the former president of the Harvard Law Review - voted for it. That's pathetic."
Illinois State Senate Judiciary Committee, March 13, 2003, Bill SB 1195, available at www.ilga.gov/legislation/93/SB/PDF/09300SB1195lv.pdf
Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military.