Obama, McCain don't get free passes on gun issue

For Immediate Release Friday, June 27, 2008

Both candidates share questionable past on gun rights

Presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain both share a spotty history on gun rights and should not be granted a free pass with their recent rhetoric, says the Libertarian Party. “McCain and Obama are no friends to the Second Amendment, despite what they now say on the campaign trail,” says Libertarian Party National Chairman William Redpath.

“Both Obama and McCain have a history of anti-gun rhetoric and legislation,” says Redpath. “No matter how pro-gun their campaign rhetoric may be, they can’t erase their past statements and votes as Republican and Democratic gun-grabbers. While a conscientious change of heart on the issue is nothing to be ashamed of, Obama and McCain’s flip-flop on the issue of guns appears to be an obligatory, almost pathetic, appeal to a demographic to which they have never been faithful.”

In the past, McCain has taken heat for his involvement with the group “Americans for Gun Safety,” which the National Rifle Association (NRA) has called “neither nonpartisan nor a friend of gun owners.” McCain has a “C+” rating on gun issues from the NRA, who once called him “one of the premier flag carriers for the enemies of the Second Amendment.”

Obama, who in the past has supported legislation regulating the sale of handguns and other forms of gun control, has frequently stated on the campaign trail that the Second Amendment is an individual right–though one that can be regulated.

“Obama’s position on the Second Amendment is even more damaging than some of the positions McCain has taken on guns in the past,” says Libertarian Party Spokesperson Andrew Davis. “To call something a right, but at the same time saying it is a right that can be subject to ‘reasonable’ limitations, completely undermines the very notion of Constitutionally-protected rights. The Libertarian Party recognizes that there is a certain extent as to how far rights can go, but we shudder to think at what Obama might consider a ‘reasonable’ limitation.”

The Libertarian Party hailed the recent Heller decision in a press release issued yesterday. The Party opposes the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defense. It also opposes all laws at any level of government requiring registration of, or restricting, the ownership, manufacturing, or transfer or sale of firearms or ammunition.

The Libertarian Party is America’s third largest political party, founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party by visiting www.LP.org . The Libertarian Party proudly stands for smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.

For more information on this issue, or to arrange a media interview, please call Andrew Davis at (202) 731-0002.