It Isn’t What You may think.

To many voters a candidates stance on the second ammendment say it all. The candidates support says a lot about what a candidate really believes about rights and the constitution, and maybe even more about how he feels about his constitutes.  A candidate that doesn’t trust the citizens probably doesn’t deserve our vote. Now Mitt Romney isn’t the most conservative of the candidates,  but where does he stand on the the RKBA issues? Surprisingly, he fares pretty well. A posting for GOAL ( Gun Owners Action League) iterates some highlights:

Legislation: During the Romney Administration, no anti-Second Amendment or anti-sportsmen legislation made its way to the Governor’s desk.

Governor Romney did sign five pro-Second Amendment/pro-sportsmen bills into law. His administration also worked with Gun Owners’ Action League and the Democratic leadership of the Massachusetts House and Senate to remove any anti-Second Amendment language from the Gang Violence bill passed in 2006. A summary of this legislation follows.

Budgetary: In the Governor’s first year, he made a political error when he submitted a budget that did away with the Inland Fisheries & Game Fund. (More of this is explained below.) Fortunately, after this matter was resolved, GOAL was able to establish better communications with the Governor’s office. In working with the legislature and the Governor we were able to restore the Fund and increase the money released from it to better manage the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. Over the next three years, GOAL was also successful in getting some “capital revenue” released to acquire land for the Division.

Regulations: During his administration, the Executive Office of Public Safety passed a new regulation providing free replacement of firearm licenses to those who had them stolen or lost. (A resident license fee in Massachusetts at that time was $100 every 6 years.) Prior to this new regulation a citizen would have to repeat the entire application process and pay the whole fee to acquire a replacement license.

Policy: His administration conducted a review of the state’s Environmental Police agency (Game Wardens). One major concern was to keep in place the hiring requirement that officers needed to have some environmental education background not strictly law enforcement. This was a policy that GOAL worked to support.

Fees: In 2003 Governor Romney filed budgetary language to raise firearm license fees from $25 to $75. That year the legislature actually raised them to $100 in the General Appropriations bill (Section 34 of Chapter 140 of the Acts of 2003). At that time a resident license was good for 4 years. In 2004 a law was passed increasing the license term to 6 years.

In 2005, Governor Romney waived the administrative fees for the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Fund. The state currently charges these fees that were as much as 36% a year. Gun Owners’ Action League worked with environmental organizations to urge the Governor to temporarily waive the fees until permanent legislation could be passed to do away with the fees all together.

Appointments: One of the agencies that GOAL watches very closely is the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. This agency is run by a strong seven-person board. The appointments to this board are spread out over several years so that drastic changes cannot be made to it in any given year. During his administration, Governor Romney made five appointments to this board. All of the individuals appointed to the board were supported by GOAL.

Proclamations: During his administration, Governor Romney issued a proclamation declaring May 7, 2005 as “The Right to Bear Arms Day”. The proclamation was issued on this date to coincide with GOAL’s Annual Banquet.

Newt Gingrich is some conservative’s favorite. His support for 2nd amendment issues has been a bit on week side. He supported both Lautenburg and the Safezones Gun Bans.

While Newt used the institutional gun lobby as a mouthpiece to convince millions of gun owners nationwide that “as long as he is Speaker, no gun-control legislation is going to move in committee or on the House floor,” he was working behind the scenes to pass gun control. In 1996, Newt Gingrich turned his back on guns and voted for the anti-gun Brady Campaign’s Lautenberg Gun Ban, which strips the Second Amendment rights of citizens involved in misdemeanor domestic violence charges or temporary protection orders –- in some cases for actions as minor as spanking a child or grabbing a spouse’s wrist.(1) Gingrich even called the anti-gun measure “reasonable,” and predicted that it would sail through his Republican-controlled House of Representatives with little trouble.(2) The Lautenberg Gun Ban is one of the Congressional Republicans’ worst betrayals of gun owners, and those complicit in its passage deserve nothing but contempt from gun owners. This gun control measure ranks right up there with the Brady Registration Act as the most aggressive gun control in America, denying hundreds of thousands of would-be gun owners the right to self defense. Gingrich also stood shoulder to shoulder with Nancy Pelosi to pass the “Criminal Safezones Act” which prevents armed citizens from defending themselves in certain arbitrary locations. You and I both know that Criminal Safezones don’t protect law-abiding citizens, but actually protect the criminals who ignore them.(3)

Then there is Ron Paul, the Constitutionalist Libertarian. He has been more than just a little bit hypocritical, While he claims to stand for less government, freedom, and the right to keep and bear arms. He voted against a cpommon sense bill that would have reduced paper work on gun manufacturers.  It was revenue neutral but greatly reduced reporting red tape. While Ron Paul claims and provides some support for support of the 2nd amendment.

Voted NO on prohibiting product misuse lawsuits on gun manufacturers.
A bill to prohibit civil liability actions from being brought or continued against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms or ammunition for damages, injunctive or other relief resulting from the misuse of their products by others. A YES vote would:

  • Prohibit individuals from filing a qualified civil liability action
  • Exempt lawsuits brought against individuals who knowingly transfer a firearm that will be used to commit a violent or drug-trafficking crime
  • Exempt lawsuits against actions that result in death, physical injury or property damage due solely to a product defect
  • Dismiss of all civil liability actions pending on the date of enactment
  • Prohibit the manufacture, import, sale or delivery of armor piercing ammunition

Reference: Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act; Bill S 397 ; vote number 2005-534 on Oct 20, 2005

Voted NO on prohibiting suing gunmakers & sellers for gun misuse.
Vote to pass a bill that would prohibit liability lawsuits from being brought against gun manufacturers and dealers based on the criminal misuse of firearms. The bill would also block these actions from being brought up against gun trade organizations and against ammunition makers and sellers. The measure would apply immediately to any pending cases. Several specific exceptions to the ban exist. This includes civil suits would be allowed against a maker or dealer who “knowingly and willfully violated” state or federal laws in the selling or marketing of a weapon. Design and manufacturing defect lawsuits are also permitted when weapons are “used as intended.

Reference: Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act; Bill HR 1036 ; vote number 2003-124 on Apr 9, 2003
Voted NO on decreasing gun waiting period from 3 days to 1.
Vote to pass a bill requiring anyone who purchases a gun at a gun show to go through an instant background check which must be completed within 24 hours [instead of 72 hours].

Reference: Bill introduced by McCollum, R-FL; Bill HR 2122 ; vote number 1999-244 on Jun 18, 1999

He also voted against  the easing of  reporting requirements for gun manufactures.

Really strange that Ron Paul would vote against this. Rep. Paul is has claimed he is against oppressive taxes.  The fact that the excise taxes had to be reported and paid Bi weekly, made these particular taxes oppressive and punitive.  In fact reducing the reporting time to quarterly saves the government $4M over the bi weekly reporting.  What is with Ron Paul? Is he supporting punitive taxation policies or has he turned anti gun? Maybe he is just losing it and doesn’t really know what he is voting on.

About Liberty

Blogging is something I do for myself. I've been blogging since Sept. 2003, mostly about politics, guns, and observations about the word around me.
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