Rick Perry: Gun-Free Zones Are 'A Bad Idea'

| by Sean Kelly

In an interview on CNN’s State of the Union, GOP presidential candidate and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said that the recent shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana, was an example of why gun-free zones are “a bad idea,” and that he believes people should be able to bring guns into movie theaters.

“I think that it makes a lot of sense to send a message across this country,” Perry said when asked if moviegoers should be allowed to take firearms into theaters. “If we believe in the Second Amendment, and we believe in people's right to protect themselves and defend themselves, and their families."

Perry also said that the gun laws currently in place need to be enforced more efficiently — a stance that he said is evident from the fact that Lafayette shooter John Russell Houser, who has a history of mental and legal problems, was able to purchase a gun without issue.

“I think we have the laws in place. Enforcement of those laws is what seems to be lacking, both in Charleston and here in Lafayette, Louisiana,” Perry said. “We see individuals who are obviously mentally impacted. These are individuals who I think that somewhere, somebody didn't do their job in the standpoint of enforcing the laws that are already on the books. Trained carriers who have been vetted should have the freedom to carry guns.”

Perry is among a large number of prominent Republicans who have spoken out against gun-free zones since the recent shootings in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Charleston, South Carolina, and called for firearms to be carried by responsible gun owners in certain types of establishments and environments.

“I will suggest to you that these concepts of gun-free zones are a bad idea,” Perry said.

“I think that you allow the citizens of this country, who have appropriately trained, appropriately backgrounded, know how to handle and use firearms, to carry them," he added. "I believe that, with all my heart, that if you have the citizens who are well trained, and particularly in these places that are considered to be gun-free zones, that we can stop that type of activity, or stop it before there's as many people that are impacted as what we saw in Lafayette."

Sources: CNN, Talking Points Memo

Photo credit: Wikipedia, Steve Snodgrass/Flickr