Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

In Draft Party Platform, Democrats Regress on Gun Rights

Friday, July 8, 2016

In Draft Party Platform, Democrats Regress on Gun Rights

Following the lead of their presumptive presidential nominee, the Democratic Party is set to adopt a gun control plank in their 2016 party platform that lays bare the party leadership’s antipathy towards gun rights. The draft 2016 plank marks a significant shift in the party’s approach to the issue. Out is the lip service paid to the Second Amendment contained in the last several party platforms; the 2016 version is a forthright list of restrictive policies and an inflammatory tone common to the Democratic Party platforms of the 1990s.

Released July 1, the gun control plank of the draft 2016 Democratic Party Platform reads:

Gun Violence Prevention

With 33,000 Americans dying every year, Democrats believe that we must finally take sensible action to address gun violence. While gun ownership is part of the fabric of many communities, too many families in America have suffered from gun violence. We can respect the rights of responsible gun owners while keeping our communities safe. We will expand background checks and close dangerous loopholes in our current laws, hold irresponsible dealers and manufacturers accountable, keep weapons of war—such as assault weapons—off our streets, and ensure guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists, domestic abusers, other violent criminals, and those with severe mental health issues.

Notice that the plank does not mention the Second Amendment, or recognize the fact that it protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. This is a marked departure from the 2012 Democratic Party Platform, which held: 

We recognize that the individual right to bear arms is an important part of the American tradition, and we will preserve Americans’ Second Amendment right to own and use firearms.

The 2016 draft platform’s gun control plank also differs sharply from the 2008 Democratic Party Platform, which contains the sentence: 

We recognize that the right to bear arms is an important part of the American tradition, and we will preserve Americans' Second Amendment right to own and use firearms. 

Similarly, the 2004 Democratic Party Platform noted:

We will protect Americans' Second Amendment right to own firearms…

The 1992, 1996, and 2000 Democratic Party Platforms make no mention of the Second Amendment, offering only hollow assurances to hunters and sportsmen.

After George W. Bush defeated Al Gore in the 2000 presidential election, there was a concerted effort by Democrats to moderate, or at least give the appearance of moderating, the prevailing party positions on gun control in order to better reflect the American electorate’s respect for gun rights. For instance, in 2002, the Washington Post reported on a Democratic Senate caucus retreat at which “several” senators suggested a move away from gun control. According to the item, this prompted freshman Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) to “[urge] her colleagues to keep their positions but change their language to be less inflammatory to swing voters.” In the mid-2000s Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rahm Emanuel also sought to shift the party’s anti-gun perception. When understood in this historical context, despite coming from a party that often speaks of “progress,” the 2016 draft gun control plank is positively retrograde.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has repeatedly made clear that she not only supports the severe gun control efforts outlined in the draft platform, but also rejects the Supreme Court’s ruling in the District of Columbia v. Heller, which held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. On separate occasions, Clinton called the landmark decision, “terrible,” and noted, “the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment and I am going to make that case every chance I get.

TRENDING NOW
Out of Style: Levi’s Fawns Over Shannon Watts in Pantmaker’s Latest Gun Control Effort

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Out of Style: Levi’s Fawns Over Shannon Watts in Pantmaker’s Latest Gun Control Effort

At the National Retail Federation’s 2018 convention in New York City, Levi Strauss & Co. Brand President James Curleigh told those assembled that the multinational pants manufacturer intends to be the “most relevant lifestyle brand.” Evidently, part ...

Gov. Abbott Signs NRA-Backed Tenants' Rights Bill

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Gov. Abbott Signs NRA-Backed Tenants' Rights Bill

The National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) applauded Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday for signing NRA-backed legislation that protects tenants’ rights by prohibiting “no firearms” clauses in residential leases.   

Trump Administration, Other Pro-Gun Heavyweights Lend Support on Pending Supreme Court Case

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Trump Administration, Other Pro-Gun Heavyweights Lend Support on Pending Supreme Court Case

As NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox reported in March, the U.S. Supreme Court has taken up a challenge by an NRA state affiliate to a New York City gun control scheme that effectively prohibits lawfully ...

Retired Justice Stevens Continues Crusade Against Guns

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Retired Justice Stevens Continues Crusade Against Guns

Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens does not believe a law-abiding citizen has a right to possess firearms under the Second Amendment, and he wants to make sure everyone knows it. He made his ...

NRA Supports Guns Save Life's Challenge to Illinois’s FOID Act

News  

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

NRA Supports Guns Save Life's Challenge to Illinois’s FOID Act

NRA is supporting a legal challenge to Illinois's FOID Act brought by Guns Save Life, an organization dedicated to defending the Second Amendment rights of Illinois residents. 

NRA Applauds Attorneys General and Governors Amicus Brief in Supreme Court Challenge

News  

Thursday, May 16, 2019

NRA Applauds Attorneys General and Governors Amicus Brief in Supreme Court Challenge

NRA Applauds Attorney General and Governors Amicus Brief in Supreme Court Challenge.

Governor Abbott Signs NRA-Backed Tenants' Rights Bill

Friday, May 17, 2019

Governor Abbott Signs NRA-Backed Tenants' Rights Bill

On Thursday, Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 302 by Representative Dennis Paul (R-Houston) & Senator Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola), NRA-supported legislation that prohibits “no firearms” clauses in residential leases.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Only What We Want Ye to Hear

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Only What We Want Ye to Hear

Can we finally put the claim that “gun violence” research is underfunded to rest? The Bloomberg Professor of American Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, Daniel Webster, and his colleagues at the Hopkins ...

Does Shannon Watts want a Ban on all Centerfire Rifle Ammunition?

News  

Friday, May 10, 2019

Does Shannon Watts want a Ban on all Centerfire Rifle Ammunition?

Shannon Watts has developed her persona as a “full-time volunteer” who wants nothing more than to bring “common sense gun laws” to this country. However, she once again reminded gun owners of her true agenda ...

Illinois: Committee To Receive Private Transfer Ban Legislation

Friday, May 17, 2019

Illinois: Committee To Receive Private Transfer Ban Legislation

On May 21st, the Illinois state House of Representatives Rules Committee will hear House Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 1966 and send it to the Judiciary Committee for further consideration.  HA 1 to SB 1966 would ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

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.