The 2020 election will likely go down as one of the most heated presidential elections in American history. Americans have been bombarded with the good and the bad about each candidate on social media, paid TV and YouTube ads. It can become difficult to distinguish what is fact and what is fiction. We’re here to provide some clarity when it comes to each candidate’s views on gun rights.
Democratic Candidate: Joe Biden
While touring an assembly plant in Detroit, Michigan, a construction worker caught Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden off guard with the remark, “You are actively trying to end our Second Amendment right and take away our guns.” Biden, who was irritated with the statement, shot back, “You’re full of shit.” The former vice president followed up by declaring that he supported the Second Amendment and owned 20-gauge and 12-gauge shotguns. “I’m not taking your gun away at all,” he promised. The video went viral. Biden might well own firearms, but let’s look at his past actions and what he has to say about gun rights.
In 1994, Biden helped to pass the 10-year Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which outlawed assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. It terminated in 2004, but Biden has gone on record stating that he was “proud to champion” it and intends to reintroduce it. During an interview in August 2019, CNN’s Anderson Cooper asked Biden how he would respond to gun owners who fear his administration will take away their firearms. “Bingo, you’re right if you have an assault weapon,” Biden remarked. “The fact of the matter is they should be illegal. Period.” In an interview he did with Field & Stream while serving as vice president, Biden was asked if the Second Amendment is an individual right. He declared, “It is an individual right, but it is also clear constitutionally that the government can limit the type of weapons you can own.” That one stings. You can read more on his campaign’s viewpoints — “The Biden Plan to End Our Gun Violence Epidemic” — here. Be forewarned: What you will find isn’t pretty, gun owners.
Republican Candidate: Donald Trump
On February 4, 2020, during his third State of the Union Address, President Donald Trump promised, “So long as I am president, I will always protect your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.” For the most part, he has stuck by his statement through the course of his first term. However, as Amy Swearer, a senior legal analyst with the Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, declared, “There have been a few missteps along the way.” In her excellent article, she breaks down where Trump has “gotten the Second Amendment right more than he has gotten it wrong.”
The good news is that none of President Trump’s actions have limited the gun rights of American citizens. He continues to show he is an ally to the Second Amendment. Pay more attention to what he does than what he says. For example, federal agencies backpedaled on several policies initiated during President Obama’s administration, halted an Obama-era regulation that threatened Second Amendment rights, nominated two Supreme Court justices with views favorable to the Second Amendment and endorsed other measures. It appears that President Trump, if re-elected, will continue to protect the rights of gun owners.
It’s Your Call
It’s clear which candidate favors the Second Amendment and which one doesn’t. We can’t tell you who to vote for in 2020. But we can provide you with the evidence to help you make that decision. That’s the great thing about this country. You have the freedom to choose your next president.