Rick Perry on Gun Control

Republican Governor (TX)


Laws are in place; it's enforcement that's lacking

Q: I know you oppose greater restrictions on gun control. But what more can the government be doing to make sure that guns are not falling into the hands of people with obvious mental and emotional problems?

A: I think we have the laws in place; enforcement of those laws is what seems to be lacking. We see individuals who were obviously mentally impacted. These were individuals who I think that somewhere, somebody didn't do their job in the standpoint of enforcing the laws that are only on the book. I will suggest to you that these concepts of gun free zones are a bad idea. I think that you allow the citizens of this country, who have been appropriately trained, appropriately backgrounded, know how to handle and use firearms to carry them.

Source: CNN SOTU 2015 interview series: 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jul 26, 2015

Taking away guns is knee-jerk reaction to gun tragedies

At the Faith & Freedom Coalition's conference, Perry told the crowd that the Charleston shooting was "an absolute heinous hate crime": "We all come here today with heavy hearts for those Charleston Christians who were gunned down inside of their place of worship. That deranged individual didn't just take lives of black Americans--he gunned down nine children of God."

After his speech, though, he sent mixed signals about the wisdom of debating gun laws in the wake of the tragedy: "It is healthy for us as a nation to have conversations, but I do have an issue that the knee-jerk from the left is always, 'We're going to take people's guns away from them,' when in fact there may be a host of contributing factors here."

When asked if Obama was exploiting the tragedy by raising the issue of better background checks, Perry said yes; "that's the knee-jerk reaction--that if we can just take the guns out of the hands of everyone in this country, these types of things won't happen again."

Source: Bloomberg News 2015 coverage:Faith & Freedom D.C. conference , Jun 22, 2015

Tried to lure gun manufacturers to Texas

Perry is an NRA supporter and Second Amendment advocate who, as governor of Texas, tried to lure gun manufacturers to the state. [Other Republicans assert similar sentiments]: Rick Santorum has said, "The Second Amendment is there to protect the First Amendment!" Rand Paul is an ardent defender of the Second Amendment. Ted Cruz says, "the Second Amendment serves as the ultimate check against governmental tyranny."
Source: Rolling Stone magazine on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 18, 2015

Don't use school shootings to push gun control agenda

"Gov. Rick Perry: Quit Using Massacre of Little Children to Push Gun Control"

According to Perry, Vice President Biden's recommendations on gun control in the wake of the Connecticut school shootings "have nothing to do with what happened" at Sandy Hook Elementary. Moreover, Obama's "executive actions" betray "a pre-existing political agenda" that is markedly anti-gun.

Wrote Perry: "The piling on the by the political left and their cohorts in the media, to use the massacre of little children to advance a pre-existing political agenda that would not have saved those children, disgusts me, personally. The Second Amendment to the Constitution is a basic right and cannot nor will not be abridged by the executive power of this or any other president."

Source: Breitbart.com 2013 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jan 17, 2013

Individual right to keep and bear arms

Look at state involvement in our individual right to keep and bear arms. At least 40 states have laws on the books allowing their citizens to carry a weapon in some form or another, and many of those have reciprocity agreements with other states. Recently a number of states have also begun pushing back against what they perceive as the overreach of federal law against their citizens through the Commerce Clause. For example, Montana and Tennessee are getting tired of federal gun laws that reach down into areas traditionally left to the states, so they passed laws to protect from federal reach firearms that are manufactured and sold entirely within the state.

The natural question arises, How, then, do the laws get enforced? The Supreme Court made crystal clear in the US v. Printz case, involving the enforcement of temporary provisions of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, that the federal government cannot commandeer state authorities to carry out federal law.

Source: Fed Up!, by Gov. Rick Perry, p.163-165 , Nov 15, 2010

Opposes restrictions on the right to bear arms.

Perry opposes the CC survey question on right to bear arms

The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues.

The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Further restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms"

Source: Christian Coalition Survey 10-CC-q10 on Aug 11, 2010

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Page last updated: Dec 09, 2016