Sema Hernandez (TX-Sen), Democratic Senate Candidates Talk Guns, Background Checks, NRA At Frisco Forum

Sema Hernandez said she wants assault weapon buyback and universal background checks, but says only wholesale political change can make substantial reform.

”Weapons of war do not belong on our streets and in our homes,” Hernandez said. “And for someone to say that these AR-15s are for hunting — I mean who are you kidding? Are you a bad hunter?”
— Christopher Connelly, KERA News

Source: https://www.keranews.org/post/democratic-s...

Chris Bell (TX-Sen), "Texas Democrats running for Senate want ban, buyback of assault-style rifles"

“I want to see an all-out ban and buy-back program on assault weapons,” said Chris Bell, a former Houston congressman, calling for the government to confiscate the weapons as Australia did in the 1990s. “Weapons of war don’t need to be in the hands of individuals.”
— Benjamin Wermund, Houston Chronicle

Pat Hackett (IN-02), "Common Sense and Responsible Gun Legislation"

Gun violence is a health crisis in this nation. I will advocate for the health and safety of our children by responsible gun laws and campaign finance reform. Seven children die as a result of gun violence every single day in the United States whether in their neighborhoods, in their schools, or in their churches. There have been more than 2,100 mass shootings since the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012. There were 846 firearm deaths in Indiana in 2015 and 997 firearm deaths in Indiana in 2016. These numbers are truly disturbing, and it is unacceptable that legislators have not taken action to curb gun violence. Nothing in the 2nd Amendment prevents us from removing weapons of war, designed to kill as many people as quickly as possible, from the hands of civilians. The 2nd Amendment has become a marketing tool for gun manufacturers and the NRA. This issue is more about money than it is the Constitution. Citizens have the right to bear arms under the 2nd Amendment. For example, to hunt and have a gun at home for protection or carry with a permit. Congress should enact commonsense gun laws that continue to protect the rights of responsible gun owners, while preventing tragic and unnecessary deaths. Here are some of the actions I support:

Require universal background checks, close the gun show and internet loopholes, so that all gun purchases, including private gun sales, are recorded, and purchasers are verified through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. 74% of NRA members, and 87% of non-NRA members support criminal background checks for all gun purchases.[4] Universal background checks can protect Hoosiers by:

Banning gun sales to people with a history of violent behavior, including domestic violence.

Banning sales to people on terrorist watch lists.

Banning or removing guns from homes with suicidal residents.

Reenact the lapsed Federal Assault Weapons Ban. Assault rifles have become the weapon of choice for mass murderers in the US, and were used to kill innocent victims at Sandy Hook, Orlando, Aurora, San Bernardino, Las Vegas, Parkland and El Paso. These weapons of war are far too easy to obtain, and they make mass shootings far too common.

Criminalize the possession of automatic and semiautomatic weapons. These weapons are difficult to defend against. While automatic weapons are no longer legal to manufacture for civilian use in the US, it is not hard or expensive to purchase kits that can convert semiautomatic weapons into ones that mimic the functionality of fully automatic weapons.

Ban high capacity magazines. There is no purpose for high capacity magazines other than to maximize the loss of life.

Repeal the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,” which protects gun manufacturers from liability litigation. This would encourage manufactures to implement safety measures, such as “smart guns” that can only be discharged by authorized users.

Fund the Centers for Disease Control to conduct research on gun violence. In 1996 Congress, at the urging of the National Rifle Association, forbade the CDC to advocate or promote gun safety measures. As a result, the CDC eliminated all funding for research on gun violence, and no funding has been provided for more than 20 years. Research can provide information on what measures would be most effective in decreasing gun deaths in the United States.
Institute a waiting period for all gun sales in the US. Any law-abiding citizen should be able to wait for at least one day, or until a complete background check has been completed, before purchasing a gun.

Institute required safety training and exams for all gun owners. Safety training will help to ensure that all gun owners are well versed in the safe and legal operation of the weapons they own.
— https://pathackettforcongress.com/issue/gun-safety/

Nick Rubando (OH-05) Issue Statement

It seems every other time you turn on the news there is a story about gun violence. Shootings at our schools, work places, places of worship and in our neighborhoods. In fact in America, gun violence is occurring at a rate 10 times higher than in any other high-income country. This has to stop. Common-sense gun legislation is necessary and essential for any politician who claims to care about the lives of their constituents. I believe in Universal and Improved Background Checks for firearm purchases. Currently, our federal background check system has a dangerous loophole in which felons and domestic abusers can purchase firearms off of the internet or at gun shows without going through a proper process. I also believe in the banning of Assault Weapons and High-Capacity Magazines. These are weapons of war, designed to cause maximum harm, and have no place on our streets or in our hunting grounds.
— https://nickrubando.com/issues/

Kim Olson (TX-24) Tweet

At Auburn's Prison City, support brewing for Francis Conole in race for Congress

On gun safety, Conole said he supports the Second Amendment. However, he believes Congress must act to reduce gun violence. He wants universal background checks, loopholes for gun purchases closed, the repeal of the Dickey Amendment — which critics say prevents the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from researching gun violence — and the restoration of the assault weapons ban. 


Conole trained with M4s, M16s and other weapons of war. He said military-style guns shouldn't be on the streets. 


"I do not believe assault weapons need to be in the hands of civilians," he added. 

Read More

Stan Scott (VA Sen-04) Issue Statement

Virginians have a right to enjoy public spaces, especially schools and churches, without fear of attack by someone with a firearm.

I propose specific policies to address this problem:

Require comprehensive background checks and 10-day waiting periods for all gun transfers, including transfers between friends and family members.

End firearm transfers at gun shows and require purchasers to appear in person at an established dealer to take possession of a firearm.

Prohibit sale and possession of any weapon or magazine that permits firing more than 10 rounds without reloading.

Prohibit sale and possession of any weapon with a maximum effective range over 200 meters without registration with and permit from the City Police or County Sheriff.

Prohibit the carry of loaded firearms in public places, whether open or concealed.

Limit firearm purchases to 3 in any 30-day period.

Hold firearm owners criminally and civilly liable for misuse of their weapons whether intentional or accidental.

Government at all levels exists in large part to protect public safety, and we know one thing for sure: more guns – especially more powerful guns – mean more gun violence and needless death. More guns don’t save more lives. More guns lead to more suicide, homicide, and tragic accidents.
— https://stanforvirginia.org/gun-sense-for-public-safety/

Greg Sagan (TX-13), "My Thoughts on the Second Amendment"

Recently I received a survey from the National Rifle Association asking for my views – as a candidate for Congress – on a number of Second Amendment issues. This was my response:

Dear Mr. Ouimet:

I recently received your survey for Federal candidates for public office to find out where they stand on second amendment issues. I must admit that I found the questions in this survey to be rather biased, in some cases markedly so, so instead of answering your survey questions I will outline my position on second amendment rights in summary form.

First, I grew up with guns, and I support the second amendment in principle. I have owned handguns, rifles and/or shotguns for most of my adult life. I currently own two handguns, and I am licensed by the state of Texas to carry them openly, on my person, in public. With only a few exceptions, I carry one of them almost all the time I am outside. In addition, while on active duty with the US Navy (I am a Vietnam veteran) I was on the Navy Match Pistol Team while stationed in Subic Bay, R.P., and I am authorized to wear the Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon with silver “E” for “Expert.” So I consider myself a “second amendment” supporter in both words and deeds.

I also believe in certain restrictions to the second amendment. For example, I believe:

– That no civilian needs or should be allowed to possess a fully-automatic firearm;

– That no civilian needs or should be allowed to possess a silencer;

– That no civilian needs or should be allowed to possess a high capacity magazine – i.e., a magazine that holds more than 15 rounds;

– That no one be allowed to obtain a state or federal license to either own or carry a firearm without a background check, without adequate training, without an adequate mental health evaluation by a licensed professional psychologist or psychiatrist, without appropriate liability insurance, and without a demonstration of proper handling before a certified firearms instructor;

– That no one who has been prosecuted for domestic violence be allowed to own a firearm of any kind;

– That no one who has been convicted of a violent crime of any kind be allowed to own a firearm of any kind;

– That no one with a diagnosed mental health condition that makes him (or her) a risk to the public be allowed to own a firearm of any kind;

– That no civilian be allowed to own a functioning mortar, rocket launcher or “crew-served” weapon of any kind.

In addition, I believe that each state should be allowed to decide how to license people to carry firearms, whether to recognize reciprocity in firearm licensing with other states, and whether to modify their criminal statutes to address gun ownership and gun violence. I realize that there is a counter argument on the constitutional basis of “full faith and credit” for carrying firearms either openly or concealed, but I also recognize that there are exceptions to this clause (e.g., legalized marijuana) that apply to gun ownership, licensing and carrying.

As far as veterans returning from conflicts with “liberated” weapons, I would allow them to keep such weapons only if they are permanently rendered incapable of “fully automatic” functioning.

This is my position, so grade me as you will.
— Greg Sagan
Source: https://futuretense.blog/2018/01/02/my-tho...

Jackie Gordon (NY-02), "I retired from the Army, but came home to more gun violence"

Our country went to sleep on Saturday night with pain in our hearts.

We woke up the next morning to another tragedy.

In less than 24 hours, the shooters in El Paso and Dayton used a weapon of war to kill 31 innocent Americans and injure dozens more. In mere minutes, they took 31 mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters from their families.

I’ve been in combat. I’ve served in the Army. Assault weapons have no place in our communities.

Friends, we must take action today to make our country safer for all Americans. Please sign my petition calling on Congress to pass an Assault Weapons Ban and keep weapons of war off of our streets. >>


When I retired from the Army, I never expected to return home and watch scenes of violence unfold on our television screens from our own communities. That was something I'd expect to see on the battlefield -- not in grocery stores, at concerts, in places of worship, or in schools.

The heartbreaking reality is that gun violence in our country is now an epidemic: In the first 218 days of this year alone, we’ve already had more than 250 mass shootings.

That’s more mass shootings than days so far this year.

Frankly, if we don’t change the way we address gun violence and demand action from our leaders, that number will only grow.

Our thoughts and prayers are important, but it is our action that will save lives.

Chris Eagle (FL-04) Facebook Post

We are deeply saddened by the Horrific Mass Killings that happened in El Paso & Dayton. However, we have felt this way over 17 times just this year! The good news is we can fix the rise in Mass Shootings and start to fix other issues that we have.

Key Areas of Focus:

#1. Mental Evaluations & Treatment
We need to place the same priority on Mental Health that we do for Physical. Starting between the ages of 4-6 we take our children to get vaccinated. In addition, we to include mental health screening and treatment. If we work on identifying mental health issues early we can start treatment and hopefully prevention.

#2. Education
Racism and Hate in any form can be traced back to education. Our sources of information come from our Family, Friends, Teachers, Spiritual Leaders, Politicians, etc... Starting at home we need to “Stop” teaching racism and hate. Future & Present generations need to value diversity and not fear difference.

#3. Laws, Policies, and Regulations
We need to drive national change that addresses any material or weapon that can be used for massive killings. Here are a few of the changes I will support:

- Any and all “Semi or Automatic” weapons are only for military use and illegal for civilians. This will include modifications to a weapon increase the amount of firings.

- Any and all “Bomb Making” materials are only for military and agricultural use. The training & licensing structure will
need to change for certain materials: Fertilizer, Chemicals, Explosive Powders.

- Mandatory Background Checks & after Decades Fixing The Gun Show Loophole!

I believe in the hope for America. We come from all walks of life with our own stories to form a more perfect union. The values that bring us together are greater than the political talking points that tear us apart. Join me, and with some effort, we can make a country that works for all its people.

Let’s Bring America Together!
— https://www.facebook.com/chriseagle4congress/

Chris Bell (TX-Sen) Issue Statement

Chris Bell is tired of reading about mass shootings and senseless gun violence. He believes that people have every right in the world to buy guns for protection and for sport, but does not believe anyone needs an assault weapon in order to do that. Weapons of war should not be on our streets. He supports the Australian model of an assault weapons ban and buyback program and has advocated publicly for such an initiative. He does not wish to see individuals simply stripped of their assault weapons but offered a reasonable amount of time to turn them in for a fair price. Chris also supports background checks for gun buyers.

Cathy Albro (MI-03) Issue Statement

When I was a young girl, two accidental shootings shook my family. My cousin shot his brother, my uncle shot his cousin. Both died. Back then we didn’t talk about it a lot. But it really tore the family apart.

Since then senseless gun violence has continued. The recent Parkland, Florida shooting is part of a long line of tragedy. Enough is enough. We have a gun problem.

Since Sandy Hook, 430 children have been killed in schools. I wonder how those parents feel knowing their children might still be alive today if Congress had the courage to act. We cannot sit back and let the NRA make decisions for us. Students are leading the movement against gun violence and it’s time for us to support and listen. I vow to fight for the safety of our children and all of us who are potential victims of senseless gun violence.

The United States is the only developed country on earth where citizens have easy access to high powered weapons. State-by-state patchwork approaches to confront this serious public safety issue are not good enough. Many killers pass current background checks in their states or fall through the cracks completely.

We must demand reasonable gun restrictions. Restrictions on freedoms granted by the Constitution have been implemented throughout our history for the safety of society. I respect the Constitutional right to have a weapon. We must also meet our Constitutional obligation to provide for the common defense and general welfare of our people. In Congress, I promise to stand up to the NRA and pass commonsense gun laws. I will work to find compassionate colleagues on both sides of the aisle to stand with me. In Congress I will defend your rights: your rights to the 2nd Amendment AND your rights for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Weapons designed for military use should only be in the hands of those well qualified to use them.

We must study gun violence. And the dialogue cannot end there.

We need to invest in our teachers, support staff, and specialized services. They truly hold an important key to the life-long mental health of all in the U.S. Our children need support in finding constructive outlets for their anger. They need educators trained in de-escalation. Educators should not carry guns in their classrooms.
— https://cathyalbroforcongress.com/the-issues/

Dee Thornton (IN-05) Issue Statement

I support Second Amendment rights, and I recognize the need for common sense gun legislation. I strongly support gun reform.
The facts show that more than 150,000 students – in at least 170 schools – have experienced a shooting on campus since the Columbine High School massacre. Ninety-one percent of children under the age of 15 who have lost their lives to a bullet lived right here in the United States. Not all wounds are visible. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder affects up to 70 percent of the kids who witness these attacks. We must do better for our children and for ourselves.

As your representative, I am committed to working toward:

● Reinstating the ban on semi-automatic assault weapons: Weapons that were made for the military don’t belong in the hands of private citizens. Law enforcement and military leaders agree. After the Parkland shooting, three-fourths of Americans are in favor of banning assault-style weapons.

● Banning bump stocks: Bump fire stocks make it easier for a shooter to fire rounds in rapid succession. More than eight in 10 Americans supports banning these dangerous devices.

● Strengthening background checks and closing current loopholes: We need to ensure that background checks are performed for each and every person purchasing a gun, whether they purchase the firearm at a retail store, online, or person-to-person at a gun show. We must strengthen background checks by closing the three-day loophole that allows automatic approval of a permit within three days.

● Raising the age for purchase: While the county is waiting for Congress to take action, at least four major retailers have stepped up to do what our representatives will not. They have recognized that it makes no sense for it to be harder to buy a beer than a gun. We must raise the age for purchase to 21 years nationally.

● Exploring licensing for gun ownership: If our driver’s licenses must be renewed, so should our gun licenses. We need to reevaluate our requirements for gun licensing. We must stop proposals for concealed carry reciprocity across our country, which have a profound impact on state public safety. Our state’s gun laws must be respected.

● Supporting, increasing, and enhancing services for mental health: While healthcare access is being rolled back by the current administration, the need for increased and enhanced mental health services is clear. We must take a multi-factor approach in our efforts to reducing violence. Supporting access to mental health care is necessary to that process.

Tackling gun violence will take all of us working together – Republicans and Democrats alike – to find innovative and effective solutions to this complex problem. Let’s start with common sense and build from there.
— http://www.deethorntonforcongress.com/gun-reform

Nabilah Islam (GA-07) Issue Statement

There is a crisis in our country. All too often there are acts of senseless gun violence in schools, at places of worship and in our public spaces. That’s why I am committed to taking on the NRA who has spent countless dollars attempting buy and pay for Congress. We need to end violence, protect our communities and our law enforcement. These laws affect our most vulnerable



The NRA doesn’t care how many lives are taken as long as gun manufacturers continue to make money. They spend billions to see to it. We must have universal background checks, Close dangerous loopholes, and reinstate the federal assault weapons ban.
— https://www.nabilahforcongress.com/common-sense-gun-reform

Dana Cottrell (FL-11) Issue Statement

Amendment One to the Constitution gives us the right to free speech; however that right does not mean we have the right to falsely scream, “fire” in a crowd.

This interpretation was decided in the Supreme Court Case Schenck v. United States, 1919. Writing the opinion of the unanimous court, Justice Oliver Wendall Holmes Jr. stated, “The question in every case is whether the words are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.”

This ruling has created an often used phrase of protecting against “clear and present danger.”

Let us now change one word. Take out “words,” and replace with “guns.”

The question in every case is whether the GUNS are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.

Congress should enact legislation to protect all Americans just as we have done with car safety. No one is taking away the right to own a gun, just like no one has taken away your right to own a car.

Congress should enact legislation to: ban assault rifles and bump stocks, establish background checks with mandatory waiting periods, bar the mentally ill and those convicted of violent crimes from gun ownership, close all gun show loopholes, and establish a national gun registry. It should be mandatory that gun manufacturers include fingerprint identification systems on all guns. The “smart gun,” much like our “smart phones,” would go a long way in preventing circumstances that create a clear and present danger to our citizens.

March 23 addition: There should never be guns in schools. This represents a breakdown in our society, and arming teachers and school personnel is NOT the answer.
— https://dana2020.com/607/issues/social-issues/

Ellen Burnes (CO-Sen) Facebook Post

23% of Coloradoans are too young to vote. They still have a voice and they are saying no to gun violence. As party chair, I invited our Students Demand Action to speak at our County Assembly of over 785 people.

Our kids’ safety matters. School safety matters. Community safety matters.

I support expanded background checks, eliminating loopholes, longer waiting periods, red flag laws and believe that military-style weapons should not be in citizens’ hands.
— Ellen Burnes

Julia Peacock (CA-42) Issue Statement

There are 27 amendments to the US Constitution. The 2nd Amendment is but one. As a matter of record, in District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008, Justice Antonin Scalia of the Supreme Court ruled that the right to possess firearms in America “is not unlimited.”

During the assault weapons ban that began in 1994, there was a dramatic decrease in the number of deaths in mass shootings. When Congress refused to renew the ban in 2004, the number of deaths dramatically increased, even though there were only 7 more incidents.

Even gun owners agree on an assault weapons ban. So do I. As a parent and public school teacher who routinely practices active shooter drills, I believe we have a moral obligation to cherish the lives of our children more than we cherish our right to bear arms.

Ban assault weapons; ban sales to those with serious mental illness; universal background checks; national gun registry database; standardized waiting periods; gun ownership insurance which includes annual safety training, physicals, and mental health screenings; a ban on sales to those on the no-fly or watch lists. These common-sense laws cross party lines and help to protect our children and our communities from the tragedy of mass shootings.
— https://peacockforcongress.com/issues/#GunReform

Regina Marston (CA-42) Issue Statement

I respect the 2nd Amendment, but I also respect what Justice Antonin Scalia ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller in the Supreme Court in 2008. “The right to possess firearms in America is not unlimited.” I’m for gun laws that remove the ability for guns to end up in the hands of criminals or those who are mentally unstable. I am strongly for banning all automatic weapons, and devices that turn a semi-automatic weapon into an automatic weapon. Those guns should not be in the hands of civilians. They are for fighting wars and for killing people. Not shooting deer.

We must fix the problems in the nationwide system of background checks, which requires firearm dealers to verify with the FBI that a purchaser isn’t a felon, fugitive, domestic abuser or dangerously mentally ill. The fact that only federal, but not state, agencies are required to submit data to the background-check database; and thousands of cases of violence by military service members are not reported is not acceptable. These loopholes must be closed. I will work to pass legislation that closes the loopholes for background checks across all jurisdictions and to enact background checks at all private sales and gun shows.

Not everyone who is mentally ill is going to become a mass shooter, but we must be able to ensure that those who have shown signs of hurting themselves or others and have guns, are prevented from doing so. We must seek to assist families with laws like California’s Laura’s law allows family members or law enforcement officials to seek a temporary restraining order barring a potentially violent person from purchasing guns and removing any already in their possession. The mantra, “if you see something, say something” needs to extend to our police and sheriff’s offices, so that people are allowed to report strange behavior that could become violent. Physicians also should be empowered to ask patients if they own guns and encourage the family to seek a gun order if they’re worried. I will work to pass legislation that will emulate California’s law to ensure families, law enforcement, and physicians can take action to protect their loved one from harming themselves or others.

We need to reinstate the 1994 Assault Weapons ban, with updated language to deal with all new technologies immediately. If elected, I’ll work with my colleagues in the House and Senator Diane Feinstein to pass legislation that will ban assault weapons, ammunition, and any technology or products designed to create an assault style weapon.
— http://reginamarston.com/more-issues/