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Political Report | Hillary Clinton To Focus On Gun Control “The Very First Day”

Friday, June 24, 2016

This feature appears in the May ’16 issue of the official journals of the National Rifle Association. 

In this year’s presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton has revealed her contempt for our firearm freedoms with shocking candor, displaying a level of anti-gun sentiment unlike anything we’ve seen before in presidential politics. While many pundits suggest that Clinton will moderate her anti-gun positions during the general election, the NRA will not allow her to fool the American public regarding her extreme views. 

… Clinton told the audience, “I really support everything President [Barack] Obama said he would do through regulation on guns, but we’re going to start the very first day and tackle the gun lobby.”At an MSNBC “town hall” gathering in April, Clinton told the audience, “I really support everything President [Barack] Obama said he would do through regulation on guns, but we’re going to start the very first day and tackle the gun lobby.” Later, Clinton said of gun control generally, “So I think that it’s the kind of issue you have to start early, you have to work on it every day.”

Violent crime is at historic lows and gun ownership is at historic highs, but Clinton would have you believe the “regulation of guns” demands the president’s attention every single day, starting on “the very first day.” When taken alongside other Clinton comments made during the long presidential primary season, the gravity of the threat, along with her dedication to the anti-gun cause, is clear.

At a fundraiser in New York City last September, Clinton remarked, “The Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment, and I am going to make that case every chance I get.” Clearly, Clinton does not believe that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, and she would seek to replace Antonin Scalia with a jurist who shares her erroneous interpretation. Scalia, of course, authored the landmark District of Columbia v. Heller opinion that recognized an individual right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment.

Even more ominous, Clinton endorsed an Australian-style gun ban scheme to confiscate firearms from law-abiding Americans during a campaign event in October. Of the Australian confiscation program, Clinton said, “I think it would be worth considering … on the national level if that could be arranged.” 

And if her proposed bans and gun grabs aren’t passed in the Congress, Clinton has made clear that if she were to win the White House, she would circumvent the Congress to push her anti-gun agenda through any means necessary.    

Clinton also advocates repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which protects gun dealers and manufacturers from being held liable for the criminal misuse of their products by a third party. But if the Congress doesn’t agree, Clinton has expressed support for lawsuits that are meant to circumvent the PLCAA by holding manufacturers liable for merely manufacturing some firearms like the AR-15. And if Clinton is elected, she will be able to fill judicial vacancies with like-minded jurists who subscribe to such “novel” legal theories and philosophies.Clinton also advocates repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which protects gun dealers and manufacturers from being held liable for the criminal misuse of their products by a third party.  

Clinton has also noted that she intends to attack America’s culture of gun ownership and use. In May 2014, Clinton derided right to carry as “an article of faith” that must be “rein[ed] in.” More recently, speaking to a Philadelphia audience in April, Clinton explained, “We have just too many guns … in our homes, in our neighborhoods.” Unlike less-candid politicians, Clinton makes it clear that she isn’t just targeting violent criminals and their firearms; she is targeting you and the guns in your home.

This is why we must take the time to talk with family, friends, co-workers and neighbors. If Clinton attempts to moderate her position on the Second Amendment during the general election, all of us have the responsibility to set the record straight. Share your knowledge, along with NRA materials, as you explain what a Clinton presidency would mean for our rights and what all of us can do to help prevent it. 

Take this message of freedom to your gun range, hunting club and sporting goods store, of course; but you should also take it to your school, social club, volunteer group, neighborhood association, union hall, barbershop, tavern and church. If someone you encounter isn’t registered to vote, offer to help them do so, and see it through. 

The stakes are high, and the peril is real. It will require every supporter of the right to keep and bear arms, and the like-minded individuals we can reach, all working together, to turn back this threat. Only with your help and a unified effort can we secure freedom for ourselves and for future generations.

To learn more about how you can help in this important struggle, please visit nraila.org.

Chris W. Cox

BY Chris W. Cox

Former NRA-ILA Executive Director

Follow This Contributor

Chris W. Cox served as the executive director of the Institute for Legislative Action, the political and lobbying arm of NRA, until 2019. As NRA’s principal political strategist, Cox oversaw eight NRA-ILA divisions: Federal Affairs; State & Local Affairs; Public Affairs; Grassroots; Finance; Research & Information; Conservation, Wildlife & Natural Resources; and Office of Legislative Counsel. Cox also serves as chairman of NRA’s Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF), the Association’s political action committee; president of the NRA Freedom Action Foundation (NRA-FAF), which focuses on non-partisan voter registration and citizen education; and chairman of NRA Country, an effort to bring country music artists together with NRA members in support of our Second Amendment freedoms and hunting heritage.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.