The Republican Party is generally considered to be the pro-gun party. But this year’s crop of GOP contenders is sketchy when it comes to their stances on gun rights.
Neither Mitt Romney nor Jon Huntsman has returned his candidate questionnaire to Gun Owners of America; and Romney, Huntsman, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry have failed to return their candidate surveys to the National Association for Gun Rights.
These days, the flip-flopping Romney claims to support the 2nd Amendment. However, as Massachusetts Governor, Romney signed a bill that banned an entire class of firearms. He supported the Brady Registration Act, mandatory 5-day waiting periods, mandatory firearms identification cards and the so-called “assault weapons” ban. And he said he supported Massachusetts’ tough anti-gun laws.
Huntsman also claims to support the 2nd Amendment, but has no record to show for it. As a result, he has no rating on gun support from either GOA or NAGR.
Santorum supported the Lautenburg gun ban, voted for a bill that included a provision to require Federal background checks at gun shows, voted for a bill to force pawn shops to conduct background checks on individuals who came into the store to sell firearms and voted to mandate locks on all handguns. He also actively campaigned for anti-gun politicians like Arlen Specter and Christine Todd Whitman.
Gingrich supports the Brady National Gun Registry, a national biometric thumbprint registry of gun owners, and he voted for the Lautenberg gun ban and the criminal Safe Zones Act.
While Perry did make some minor improvements in Texas law for gun owners, his refusal to submit his NAGR survey is troubling. He claims to be pro-gun, but so did another Texas Governor who turned out to be not so gun-friendly after all.
Congressman Ron Paul returned his survey to both organizations. GOA rates him A+ on gun rights, and NAGR rates Paul 100 percent pro-gun.