Spencer Abraham on Gun Control

Former Secretary of Energy & Former Republican Senator (MI)


Close the “gun show loophole” with 24-hour background check

Several votes surrounded the regulation of firearm shows, events that are misunderstood by a significant portion of the public. These shows are not the “illegal arms bazaars” as portrayed by some critics. They are a venue for collectors, sportsmen and other law-abiding gun owners, and over 3/4 of the sellers at these shows are federal firearms licensees and already subject to all Brady law background check requirements.

Regrettably, some sales at gun shows left open the possibility for a law-breaking individual to purchase a firearm even though that person’s criminal background made it illegal for him or her to own it. This “gun show loophole”, a problem recognized by parties on both sides of the aisle, had to be closed-- the only remaining question went to means, not ends. I supported the efforts to prevent unlawful firearms transactions by requiring a criminal background check on all firearm sales at gun shows, mandating that law enforcement complete these checks in 24 hours.

Source: Constituent letter on gun control , May 12, 1999

No heavy regulatory schemes; focus on misuse

I support reasonable steps to insulate our children from the tragic misuse of firearms. However, I voted against several amendments that in fact imposed unnecessary burdens on lawful gun owners. I could not support Senator Lautenberg’s amendments that would close the gun show loophole through a heavily regulatory scheme and trample the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding individuals by implementing a framework for a national gun registration system that is prohibited by law.
Source: Constituent letter on gun control , May 12, 1999

Voted NO on background checks at gun shows.

Require background checks on all firearm sales at gun shows.
Status: Amdt Agreed to Y)50; N)50; VP decided YES
Reference: Lautenberg Amdt #362; Bill S. 254 ; vote number 1999-134 on May 20, 1999

Voted YES on more penalties for gun & drug violations.

The Hatch amdt would increase mandatory penalties for the illegal transfer or use of firearms, fund additional drug case prosecutors, and require background check on purchasers at gun shows. [A YES vote supports stricter penalties].
Status: Amdt Agreed to Y)48; N)47; NV)5
Reference: Hatch Amendment #344; Bill S. 254 ; vote number 1999-118 on May 14, 1999

Voted YES on loosening license & background checks at gun shows.

Vote to table or kill a motion to require that all gun sales at gun shows be completed by federally licensed gun dealers. Also requires background checks to be completed on buyers and requires gun show promoters to register with the Treasury.
Reference: Bill S.254 ; vote number 1999-111 on May 11, 1999

Voted YES on maintaining current law: guns sold without trigger locks.

Vote to table [kill] an amendment to make it unlawful for gun dealers to sell handguns without providing trigger locks. Violation of the law would result in civil penalties, such as suspension or revocation of the dealer's license, or a fine.
Reference: Bill S 2260 ; vote number 1998-216 on Jul 21, 1998

Other candidates on Gun Control: Spencer Abraham on other issues:
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V.P.Al Gore
Labor:Robert Reich
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Page last updated: Jan 14, 2017