Trump Unveils Platform On Gun Control

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump didn’t dominate the second GOP debate on Sept. 16, but he has expanded his platform. Until recently, Trump only had his stance on immigration outlined on his campaign website, but he has officially unveiled his opinion regarding the Second Amendment. 

The plan, which was presented with the tagline “protecting our Second Amendment rights will make America great again,” a nod to his campaign slogan, focuses on enforcing gun laws, addressing mental health issues, and changing national laws.

Perhaps one of the most dramatic proposals Trump offered within his platform was instituting a national right to carry law, meaning those who have a gun should be able to use their concealed carry permit in every state.

“A driver’s license works in every state, so it’s common sense that a concealed carry permit should work in every state,” Trump writes on his campaign website. “If we can do that for driving — which is a privilege, not a right — then surely we can do that for concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege.”

This is part of Trump’s greater message, which encourages others to own guns for self defense. Trump noted twice on his campaign website that he personally has a concealed carry permit. 

Trump also advocated to repeal the ban on military members using firearms on base and at recruiting centers.

“To make America great again, we need a strong military," he wrote. "To have a strong military, we need to allow them to defend themselves."

Trump’s platform went beyond gun ownership issues and addressed preventing gun violence. 

Trump argued that violent criminals need to face harsher treatment in the justice system as a deterrent to crime. He cited a Richmond, Virginia, program called “Project Exile” as an example for how violent crime should be prosecuted.

“It said that if a violent felon uses a gun to commit a crime, you will be prosecuted in federal court and go to prison for five years — no parole or early release,” Trump explained on his website.

Trump also claimed that the government has “no business” prohibiting high-powered weapons, such as assault rifles, and added that the laws are ineffective. It’s worth noting that a study of weapons used in mass shooting between 1982 and 2012 showed that assault weapons were used in almost a quarter of them, according to Mother Jones.

This stance on assault rifles is a deviation from Trump’s earlier stance on the issue. In his 2000 book “The America We Deserve,” Trump wrote: “I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun. With today’s Internet technology we should be able to tell within 72 hours if a potential gun owner has a record.”

Trump also addressed background checks and advocated for a national system that’s more complete and includes criminal and mental health records, which is already mandated.

“What we need to do is fix the system we have and make it work as intended,” he wrote.

Trump loosely addressed the role of mental illness in mass shootings, but didn’t offer any concrete guidelines beyond expanding the current mental healthcare system and implementing more aggressive treatment.

“Most people with mental health problems aren’t violent, they just need help,” Trump wrote. “But for those who are violent, a danger to themselves or others, we need to get them off the street before they can terrorize our communities.”

There’s currently no word on when Trump will announce his official platform on issues besides gun control and immigration. 

Sources: Mother Jones, “The America We Deserve” via On The Issues, Donald Trump Campaign Website

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr (2)


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