Due to several incidents of school shootings and other mass shootings, gun reform is one of the major highlights in the US Elections 2020. Trump has gone back and forth on gun control but now supports the NRA. Biden on the other hand supports gun control measures and opposes the NRA. They both agree to ban assault weapons and want to adopt red flag laws that remove weapons from dangerous individuals. However, Trump reversed an Obama policy that keeps arms of certain people's hands unable to manage their affairs for mental reasons.
President Donald Trump
Will not repeal second amendment
- Trump has tweeted, “The second amendment will never be repealed."
- In 2015 he described himself as a staunch advocate of the Second amendment.
Appointed Supreme Court judges who respect the second amendment
- Trump has appointed a large number of conservative federal judges.
Supports the NRA
- But in 2000, Trump criticized the gun lobby, "The Republicans walk the NRA line and refuse even limited restrictions.”
Wants to adopt red flag laws, which will remove weapons from dangerous individuals, but not from all Americans
- Trump's press secretary said, "We think that the focus has to remain on removing weapons from dangerous individuals, not on blocking all Americans from their constitutional rights."
- Trump reversed an Obama-era regulation that had been intended to prevent weapons purchases by certain people with mental health problems.
Thinks teachers should be allowed to carry guns to school
- Following the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in February 2018, Trump suggested arming up to 20% of the teachers to stop "maniacs" from attacking students.
- He asserted that the presence of more guns in schools and public places could have stopped mass shootings.
End gun-free zones in schools & military bases
- Trump said: "I will get rid of gun-free zones on schools, "I don't want to have guns in classrooms. Although, in some cases, teachers should have guns in classrooms."
Mass shootings are due to a huge mental health problem
Banned ‘bump stocks’ which allow semi-automatic weapons fire more quickly
- Ban on niche “bump stock” accessories used by a gunman to increase his rate of fire in the 2017 Las Vegas massacre.
Supports the assault weapon ban
- In his 2000 book, Trump wrote that he generally opposed gun control, but supported the ban on assault weapons.
Gun ownership makes the US safer, not more dangerous
Provided mixed signals on universal background checks
- In 2018, Trump signed into law an appropriations act that included the Fix NICS Act, a bipartisan measure aimed at improving the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
- In August 2019, following mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, Trump declined to support universal background checks, saying that existing background checks are already "very, very strong," even though "we have sort of missing areas and areas that don’t complete the whole circle.”
Former VP Joe Biden
Supports the second amendment
Supports gun control measures
- States that gun violence is a “public epidemic.”
Opposes the NRA
- Has taken on the NRA on the national stage and won twice.
- If he’s not elected president, he said he would commit the rest of his life to defeating the NRA’s influence.
Supports universal background checks
- Founded the existing background-check system - Supported the 1993 Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, which established five-day waiting periods for handgun purchases and background checks.
- Supports background checks for people buying gun kits or 3D printer codes for guns.
Passed the assault weapons ban
- In 1994, he helped pass the assault weapons ban that restricted sales of guns such as the AK-47 rifle for 10 years.
Voted to allow lawsuits against gun manufacturers
- Biden voted against the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) of 2005, which immunizes firearm manufacturers from lawsuits based on gun violence.
Supports a ban on the manufacture and sale of semiautomatic rifles and higher-capacity magazines
Wants states to adopt red-flag laws which will remove weapons from dangerous individuals, but not from all Americans
- Biden wants to reinstate the Obama-Biden policy for guns that was reversed by Trump in 2017, i.e., to keep arms out of certain people's hands who are unable to manage their affairs for mental reasons
- Supports restricting gun purchases and possession by fugitives, people convicted of hate crimes, and those deemed by the Social Security Administration to be unable to manage their own affairs
Supports banning online sales of weapons and ammunition
- However, in the 1980s he voted for the Firearm Owners Protection Act, which allowed gun dealers to sell weapons through mail, online, and at gun shows.
Supports setting up a voluntary buyback program to get weapons off the streets
Wants firearm owners take on the responsibility
- Hold adults accountable for giving firearms to minors.
- Gun owners should safely store their weapons and report if it is missing or stolen.
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