Kirsten Gillibrand on Gun Control
Democratic Senator (NY); Democratic Candidate for President (withdrawn)
Machine gun registration is framework for assault weapons
what you want to use is the current law that has placed different types of weapons, required registration, like machine guns. We did this in the past, and we made machine guns illegal.
And, if you owned them, they had to be registered, and they had to have certain kinds of fingerprinting for anyone who owns it. So you can use the same framework.
Source: ABC This Week interview for Democratic 2020 Veepstakes
, Aug 18, 2019
Senate would pass gun laws if allowed to vote
I think things are changing since kids have been marching and demanding action. You've seen a level of advocacy that I've never seen before. If Mitch McConnell would have the courage to call us back into Washington to vote, we would pass the universal
background checks bill and we would pass the bill that I wrote which is anti-gun trafficking which the last time we voted on it got fifty-eight votes. We only needed sixty. I believe we have the momentum behind us to pass that as well.
Source: CBS Face the Nation interview for Democratic 2020 Veepstakes
, Aug 11, 2019
NRA is the worst organization in America
[Fox News host Chris] Wallace drilled down on Gillibrand's one-time A-rating from the National Rifle Association -- a group she called the "worst organization in America" on Sunday night. When asked if her shift on the issue was political opportunism,
Gillibrand said that it was about "realizing that not every part of this country is like my rural, upstate New York district. We have to look beyond our own backyard," she said. "We must care about others."
Source: Politico.com on Fox News Town Halls with Chris Wallace
, Jun 2, 2019
Ban bump stocks; reduce lobbying power of NRA
An audience member asked Ms. Gillibrand what she would do to combat gun violence that previous presidents had not. The three points she suggested were longstanding goals of gun control advocates: universal background checks; a ban on bump stocks,
high-capacity magazines and military-style firearms; and a federal law against gun trafficking. Ms. Gillibrand argued that she could achieve them by reducing the political power of the N.R.A.
She said she would do so by creating public financing for campaigns, though the N.R.A.'s power is not quite so simple: It comes not only from direct donations to candidates but also from its ability to mobilize
a reliable base of single-issue voters. Ms. Gillibrand did not hold back in denouncing the N.R.A., which she called "the worst organization in this country."
Source: New York Times on 2019-2020 Fox News Town Halls
, Jun 2, 2019
Supports stricter laws now; didn't when in the House
As a representative, she was an advocate for gun rights and had an 'A' rating from the NRA.
But since joining the Senate, she has made an about-face and is now a vocal proponent of stricter gun control laws.
Source: Axios.com "What you need to know about 2020"
, May 7, 2019
2008: signed amicus brief to overturn DC handgun ban
Gillibrand fought vigorously in defense of gun rights, including the right to own handguns. She signed an amicus brief that argued for overturning a handgun ban in Washington, DC, and that private gun ownership was a guaranteed right unconnected to
service in a militia.
At the same time, Gillibrand co-sponsored legislation that would revoke the city's gun control laws. The core of the proposed bill made it so that Washington, DC would not be allowed to pass any laws restricting firearm usage
and ownership that exceed existing federal rules, repealed the city's ban on semi-automatic weapons, most registration requirements for possession of firearms and a ban on owning ammunition.
Gillibrand's support for such measures was key in her earning the backing of the NRA in her 2008 bid for re-election. Gillibrand boasted of the "A" rating on her House website.
Source: CNN KFile, "Gillibrand overturning DC handgun ban"
, Mar 26, 2019
2009: Fight gun violence; 2010: "F" rating from NRA
[As a Representative, she supported anti-gun control measures.] After her appointment to the Senate in January 2009, Gillibrand moved away from her record on gun rights. "There's a very big difference between making sure hunters can hunt in upstate
New York, and fighting against gun violence," Gillibrand said. "And those are values and views that I've always held--that we do need to fight against gun violence. We do need to keep guns out of the hands of criminals." When a 2009 vote came on an
amendment to ease firearm restrictions in DC, Gillibrand voted against it. By September 2010, her NRA grade changed from an "A" to an "F."
Speaking at the launch of her presidential campaign, Gillibrand singled out the National Rifle Association
as an example of special interests. "Right now, special interests are displacing the voices of the people of this country," Gillibrand said. "The NRA stops popular, common sense gun reform, while stray bullets kill children in our communities."
Source: CNN KFile, "Gillibrand overturning DC handgun ban"
, Mar 26, 2019
2006: "A" rating from NRA; 2019: apologizes
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand apologized amidst a broader mea culpa over her formerly conservative views on "The Rachel Maddow Show."
Gillibrand announced she was running for president. Formerly a U.S. representative in upstate New York before being
appointed to the Senate, Gillibrand has established herself as one of the chamber's most liberal members and is forming her campaign in part around her advocacy for women.
However, Maddow didn't let her off the hook for her old views on issues like
guns and immigration, discussing what she called Gillibrand's "conservative bona fides" in unseating a GOP congressman in New York in 2006. Gillibrand had an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association.
"Senator Gillibrand has had a transformation.
She has changed a great deal on policy in the decade since she was a card-carrying member of the Blue Dog Democrats," Maddow said. "She has been on her own party's right. She has been on her own party's left."
Source: Washington Free Beacon on 2020 presidential hopefuls
, Jan 16, 2019
Ban high-capacity magazines; close gun-show loophole
Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls
, Jan 16, 2019
- Guns: Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Make background checks universal.
- Gillibrand would reinstate a ban on assault weapons as well as ban high-capacity magazines, which enable a weapon to fire dozens of rounds without
- She opposes the idea of a national concealed carry policy and favors a number of other restrictions, including closing the "gun show loophole," requiring background checks for all gun purchases, and increasing restrictions on domestic
- As a House member representing a rural upstate district in New York, Gillibrand held different views on gun control and received an A rating from the NRA.
She has said she was wrong and representing an entire state that includes urban communities with more gun violence pushed her to support more gun control measures.
Embarrassed at previous NRA "A" rating; now rated "F"
During her tenure in the House, Gillibrand was part of the Blue Dog Coalition [of conservative Democrats]. She advertised on her website that she had a 100-percent voting record with the National Rifle Association.
She was confronted with her ideological shift during a 60 Minutes segment last February, explaining how she went from having an "A" rating from the NRA to an "F."
"I went down to
Brooklyn to meet with families who had suffered from gun violence in their communities," Gillibrand recounted. "And you immediately experience the feeling that I couldn't have been more wrong--you know,
I only had the lens of upstate New York." She went on to say that she was "embarrassed" because she had in fact lived in New York City for a decade.
Source: Washington Examiner on 2020 Presidential Hopefuls
, Jan 15, 2019
Inaction on mass shootings due to greed of NRA & gunmakers
After the Thousand Oaks Shooting at a country music bar, Gillibrand said, "It is extraordinarily heartbreaking and it's infuriating because Congress literally has done nothing in the face of gun death after gun death in communities all across this
country. And it is because of the greed: the greed of the gun manufacturers and the greed of the NRA."
Still, the pro-gun reform lawmaker offered some hope for future reform based on Tuesday's elections. "I do believe things are changing.
And the reason why I believe that is because we had candidates run in this last election who ran on this issue," she said.
Still, Gillibrand foresaw more work ahead of Democrats to pass stricter gun laws. "We have to obviously flip the
Senate to be able to do whatever the House could do, that common-sense reform," Gillibrand said. "But I think the country is in a place where we will fight this until we get it done because you need these basic reforms."
Source: Hollywood Reporter on 2018 New York Senate race
, Nov 8, 2018
Owns guns, which she keeps unloaded under the bed
One day I ate lunch in the Senate dining room with a reporter from a Long Island newspaper. He says nonchalantly, "You own guns, right?"
I said, "Yes."
"Where do you keep them?" he asked.
Without pausing to think why he was asking the
question or whether I should answer it, I said, "Under the bed."
Huge mistake. Our exchange about guns became his whole story. It made the front page of Newsday, and that lead to headlines across the state. I was so frustrated with myself for not
answering more thoughtfully--and for answering at all. The topic was irrelevant to our interview. Besides, what was I thinking, telling the world, without any context, that I
kept guns under my bed? One had been a raffle prize, the other a gift. Both were still locked up in their original cases. Neither Jonathan nor I had ever loaded either.
Source: Off the Sidelines, by Kirsten Gillibrand, p.106-7
, Sep 9, 2014
Shifted to left because "I fight for my constituents"
Gillibrand explained her sharp shift to the political left--particularly on gun control and immigration--since Gov. Paterson appointed her to the statewide seat last year. "One thing that's clear is that I always fight for my constituents," she said;
noting that she's now focused on keeping illegal guns out of cities.
DioGuardi said voters could get "whiplash" watching Gillibrand's policy changes. "She sounded like Annie Oakley, and now she's somebody different," DioGuardi said.
Source: New York Post coverage of 2010 N. Y. Senate debate
, Oct 16, 2010
Track data on illegal gun traffickers
On the day Gillibrand was appointed to the Senate, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg attacked her opposition to gun control: "She has voted to keep critical data needed to track illegal gun traffickers from law enforcement, has voted to tie the hands of the
ATF, and has also voted to protect dealers who sell guns illegally."
But all that changed when Hillary's seat opened up, and she shamelessly promoted herself as a candidate to fill it. Within days Gillibrand's raw ambition had trumped her stated
principles, and she began flipping on all kinds of critical issues. As a new senator, Gillibrand was transformed from a rabid opponent of gun control--with a 100% rating from the NRA--to a cosponsor of gun control legislation. In
2007, she had sponsored a bill to delete background check information after 24 hours; now she suddenly voted to repeal her very own bill.
Does she still keep two guns under her bed, as she claimed during the campaign? She hasn't said.
Source: Take Back America, by Dick Morris, p.183
, Apr 13, 2010
Earned high rating from the National Rifle Association
Her politics, perhaps reflecting her conservative district, cannot be easily charted along a left-right axis. She earned a high rating from the National Rifle Association and opposed efforts to extend state drivers' licenses to illegal immigrants.
At the same time, she favors abortion rights.
Gillibrand moved to bridge the political & cultural divide, shunning political labels and even embracing Second Amendment gun rights and other positions that placed her outside the mainstream of her party.
Source: Michael Powell and Raymond Hernandez, New York Times
, Jan 23, 2009
Voted YES on banning high-capacity magazines of over 10 bullets.
- The term 'large capacity ammunition feeding device' means a magazine or similar device that has an overall capacity of more than 10 rounds of ammunition
- It shall be unlawful for a person to import, sell, manufacture, or possess a large capacity ammunition feeding device.
- Shall not apply to the possession of any large capacity ammunition feeding device otherwise lawfully possessed before 2013.
- Shall not apply to qualified or retired law enforcement officers.
Proponent's Argument for voting Yes: Sen. BLUMENTHAL: This amendment would ban high-capacity magazines which are used to kill more people more quickly and, in fact, have been used in more than half the mass shootings since 1982. I ask my colleagues to listen to law enforcement, their police, prosecutors who are outgunned by criminals who use these high-capacity magazines. I ask that my colleagues also listen to the families of those killed by people who
used a high-capacity magazine.
Opponent's Argument for voting No: Sen. GRASSLEY. I oppose the amendment. In 2004, which is the last time we had the large-capacity magazine ban, a Department of Justice study found no evidence banning such magazines has led to a reduction in gun violence. The study also concluded it is not clear how often the outcomes of the gun attack depend on the ability of offenders to fire more than 10 shots without reloading. Secondly, there is no evidence banning these magazines has reduced the deaths from gun crimes. In fact, when the previous ban was in effect, a higher percentage of gun crime victims were killed or wounded than before it was adopted. Additionally, tens of millions of these magazines have been lawfully owned in this country for decades. They are in common use, not unusually dangerous, and used by law-abiding citizens in self-defense, as in the case of law enforcement.
Reference: Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act;
Bill S.Amdt. 714 to S. 649
; vote number 13-SV103
on Apr 17, 2013
Voted NO on allowing firearms in checked baggage on Amtrak trains.
Congressional Summary:AMENDMENT PURPOSE: To ensure that law abiding Amtrak passengers are allowed to securely transport firearms in their checked baggage.
On page 37, between lines 8 and 9, insert the following: "Allowing Amtrak Passengers to Securely Transport Firearms on Passenger Trains.--None of amounts made available in the reserve fund authorized under this section may be used to provide financial assistance for the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) unless Amtrak passengers are allowed to securely transport firearms in their checked baggage.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Sen. ROGER WICKER (R, MS). This amendment aims to ensure that gun owners and sportsmen are able to transport securely firearms aboard Amtrak trains in checked baggage, a practice that is done thousands of times a day at airports across the country. I emphasize that this amendment deals with checked, secured baggage only. It would return
Amtrak to a pre-9/11 practice. It does not deal with carry-on baggage. Unlike the airline industry, Amtrak does not allow the transport of firearms in checked bags. This means that sportsmen who wish to use Amtrak trains for hunting trips cannot do so because they are not allowed to check safely a firearm.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Sen. FRANK LAUTENBERG (D, NJ): I object to this disruptive amendment offered by the Senator from Mississippi. He wants to enable the carrying of weapons, guns, in checked baggage. One doesn't have to be very much concerned about what we are doing when they look at the history of attacks on railroads in Spain and the UK and such places. This amendment has no place here interrupting the budgetary procedure. The pending amendment is not germane and, therefore, I raise a point of order that the amendment violates section 305(b)(2) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
Reference: Wicker Amendment;
Bill S.Amdt.798 to S.Con.Res.13
; vote number 2009-S145
on Apr 2, 2009
Close the Gun Show Loophole; restrict show sales.
Gillibrand signed H.R.2324& S.843
Makes it unlawful for any person to operate a gun show unless such person:
Imposes recordkeeping requirements on gun show operators and criminal penalties for failure to register as a gun show operator and maintain required records. Increases criminal penalties for serious recordkeeping violations and violations of criminal background check requirements. Authorizes the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to hire additional investigators to carry out inspections of gun shows.
Source: Gun Show Loophole Closing Act 09-HR2324 on May 7, 2009
- has attained 21 years of age;
- is not prohibited from transporting, shipping, or receiving firearms and has not violated any federal firearms requirements;
- has registered with the Attorney General as a gun show operator and has provided a photograph and fingerprints;
- has not concealed material information nor made false statements in connection with a gun show operator registration; and
- notifies the Attorney General of the date, time, and duration of a gun show not later than 30 days before the commencement of such show and verifies the identity of each vendor at the gun show.
Rated F by the NRA, indicating a pro-gun control voting record.
Gillibrand scores F by NRA on pro-gun rights policies
While widely recognized today as a major political force and as America's foremost defender of Second Amendment rights, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has, since its inception, been the premier firearms education organization in the world. But our successes would not be possible without the tireless efforts and countless hours of service our nearly three million members have given to champion Second Amendment rights and support NRA programs.
The following ratings are based on lifetime voting records on gun issues and the results of a questionaire sent to all Congressional candidates; the NRA assigned a letter grade (with A+ being the highest and F being the lowest).
What the Grades Mean:
Source: NRA website 10-NRA on Aug 11, 2010
- A+: A legislator with not only an excellent voting record on all critical NRA issues, but who has also made a vigorous effort to promote and defend the Second Amendment.
- A: Solidly pro-gun candidate including voting record.
- AQ: A pro-gun candidate whose rating is based solely on the NRA-PVF Candidate Questionnaire and who does not have a voting record.
- B: A generally pro-gun candidate; may have opposed some pro-gun reform in the past.
- C: A candidate with a mixed record or positions on gun related issues, who may oppose some pro-gun positions.
- D: An anti-gun candidate who usually supports restrictive gun control legislation. Regardless of public statements, can usually be counted on to vote wrong on key issues.
- F: True enemy of gun owners' rights. A consistent anti-gun candidate.
- ?: Refused to answer the NRA-PVF Candidate Questionnaire, often an indication of indifference, if not outright hostility, to gun owners' rights.
Ban large-capacity ammunition.
Gillibrand co-sponsored Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act
Amends the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act
Source: H.R.138&S.33 13-S0033 on Jan 22, 2013
- to prohibit the transfer or possession of a large capacity ammunition feeding device, except for its lawful possession within the United States on or before the date of this Act's enactment; and
- the importation or bringing into the United States of such a device (with some exceptions).
- Identification Markings: Requires a large capacity ammunition feeding device manufactured after this Act's enactment to be identified by a serial number that clearly shows that the device was manufactured after enactment.
- Whoever knowingly violates this law shall be fined, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.
Co-sponsored background check for every firearm sale.
Gillibrand co-sponsored the Bipartisan Background Checks Act
H.R.8: To require a background check for every firearm sale. This Act may be cited as the "Background Check Expansion Act".
- It shall be unlawful for any person who is not a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer to transfer a firearm to any other person who is not so licensed [and conducted a background check].
- The [restrictions] shall not apply to any law enforcement officer, or member of the armed forces, or bona fide gift between spouses, between parents and their children, or between siblings or [immediate family members].
- Temporary transfers [are allowed] if the transferor has no reason to believe that the transferee will use or intends to use the firearm in a crime or is prohibited from possessing firearms; at a shooting range; or while reasonably necessary for the purposes of hunting.
Opposing argument from the Heritage Foundation, 2/26/2019: Heritage Action opposes the Bipartisan Background Checks Act
(H.R. 8) and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard. This legislation would require universal background checks for all firearm sales (even private) with specific exceptions. Unfortunately, universal background checks would do little to prevent firearm violence and would instead make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to purchase, own, carry, and use a firearm. Studies show that universal background checks are largely ineffective when it comes to preventing mass shootings. In addition, most people imprisoned for firearm-related crimes access their firearms illegally through theft, the underground market, family members, or friends. H.R. 8 is poorly written and makes criminals out of many law-abiding Americans who commonly make low-risk firearm transfers.
Legislative outcome Roll call 99 in House on 2/27/2019 passed 240-190-2; introduced in Senate 1/8/2019; no action as of 3/28/2020.
Source: H.R.8/S.42 19-HR0008 on Feb 27, 2019
Ban gun registration & trigger lock law in Washington DC.
Gillibrand co-sponsored banning gun registration & trigger lock law in Washington DC
- Nothing in any provision of law shall authorize the Mayor, or any governmental authority of the District of Columbia, to prohibit possessing firearms by a person who is allowed to possess firearms under federal law.
- Denies the District any authority to enact laws or regulations that discourage or eliminate the private ownership or use of firearms.
- Repeals the ban on semiautomatic weapons.
- Repeals the District's registration requirement for possession of firearms.
- Repeals the trigger lock law.
- Maintains the current ban on the possession and control of a sawed-off shotgun, machine gun, or short-barreled rifle.
- Eliminates criminal penalties for possessing an unregistered firearm.
- Specifies exceptions to the prohibition against carrying concealed weapons in the District.
Source: D.C. Personal Protection Act (H.R.1399/S.1001) 2007-S1001 on Mar 27, 2007
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