Trump Running Mate Mike Pence on his Second Amendment Record

mike pence second amendment gun rights

What’s Mike Pence’s stance on gun rights? (Photo: Tasos Katopodis/AFP/Geddy)

Donald Trump selected Indiana Governor Mike Pence to be his running mate in the upcoming 2016 presidential election. What does that mean for the future of the Second Amendment? It’s probably a good thing for Trump and gun rights supporters.

Trump doesn’t have a clean record when it comes to gun rights. In “The America We Deserve,” Trump’s book on public policy, published in 2000, Trump said he supported “assault weapons” bans and waiting periods. In general, he said he opposed gun control but also criticized Republicans who “walked the NRA line.”

“Democrats want to confiscate all guns,” reads Trump’s book. “[That] is a dumb idea because only the law-abiding citizens would turn in their guns and the bad guys would be the only ones left armed. The Republicans walk the NRA line and refuse even limited restrictions.” In 2000 he also said he supports “assault weapons” bans.

In 2015 Trump clarified his position on gun rights and gun ownership. “I certainly stand by my opposition to gun control when it comes to taking guns from law-abiding citizens. You mention that the media describes the AR-15 as an ‘assault rifle,’ which is one example of the many distortions they use to sell their agenda,” Trump said in an interview with AmmoLand. “However, the AR-15 does not fall under this category. Gun-banners are unfortunately preoccupied with the AR-15, magazine capacity, grips and other aesthetics, precisely because of its popularity.”

Do You Trust Trump with Your Second Amendment Rights?

“I do not support expanding background checks,” Trump said. “The current background checks do not work.”

“They make it more difficult for law abiding citizens to acquire firearms while consistently failing to stop criminals from getting guns. We should re-examine our policy to make sure that these prohibitions do not impede law abiding citizens from exercising their Second Amendment rights.”

Trump added that he’s a lifetime member of the NRA. He went on to praise them for protecting gun rights and promoting gun safety and wildlife conservation.

Still, gun owners have long memories. Even with Trump’s fresh, emboldened outlook on the Second Amendment many single-issue voters have their doubts. It’s clear that by selecting Pence for Vice President that he’s hoping to assure voters that he’s serious when it comes to gun rights.

Pence is very clear about his stance on gun rights.

“I have strongly supported the right to keep and bear arms,” Pence said to Mike Wallace in an interview. “I truly believe that firearms in the hands of law abiding-citizens makes our families and our communities more safe, not less safe.”

“The bill that we just signed here in Indiana really was a common sense reform,” he continued. “We actually have parents that had a permit to conceal and carry … finding themselves guilty of a felony just by dropping their kids off to school. So we just made a modest change, a common sense change in Indiana law. And I strongly supported it.”

Trump on Official Endorsement from NRA: ‘I won’t let you down’

Everytown and Moms Demand Action have issued a statement condemning Trump’s choice. “[Pence] supports letting more people carry hidden, loaded guns in public and has consistently backed unprecedented immunity from liability for gun manufacturers. In picking Pence, Donald Trump has doubled-down on the NRA’s agenda. Voters in November will face a clear choice — between the gun lobby’s duo, Trump and Pence, and Hillary Clinton, a gun safety champion who has vowed to buck the NRA and fight to save American lives.”

“A White House team of Donald Trump and Mike Pence would put more families on the front lines of gun violence in America. Governor Pence has supported a range of NRA-backed priorities,” continued the statement.

Throughout his 12 years in the House of Representatives and his first term as the governor of Indiana Pence has been solidly pro-gun. He has an A+ to A rating from the NRA and a history of backing gun-friendly legislation.

In 2011 Pence co-sponsored a bill to relax prohibitions that make it illegal for gun dealers to sell guns in other states. Previously he fought to end the D.C. gun ban and gun registries. He also signed a bill to expand the Eddie Eagle program to give 23,000,000 kids access to gun safety programming.

Pence’s stance on concealed-carry is very aggressively pro-gun. He signed the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act in 2009 trying to set a national standard for concealed carry. Even early in his political career, Pence stood out as pro-gun, voting yes to prohibit people from suing gun manufacturers if their products were misused or used illegally.

All in all, Pence seems like a solid choice for Trump, an all-around more conventional Republican politician.  What are your thoughts?

About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. His ambition is to follow Thomas Paine, as a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

{ 36 comments… add one }
  • Michael July 23, 2016, 10:38 am

    Trump writes/says: “Democrats want to confiscate all guns,” reads Trump’s book. “[That] is a dumb idea because only the law-abiding citizens would turn in their guns and the bad guys would be the only ones left armed.” Law abiding citizens will turn in their guns? Trump must be dreaming or as usual doesn’t have his facts straight (especially about people in his own home state). For example, Under New York’s SAFE ACT of 2013, all AR15 and other “assault style” weapons (their words not mine) had to be registered with the New York State Police by April 2014. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) estimated at a minimum, over one million AR15’s had been sold in New York State prior to the implementation of this Nazi-style registration scam. When queried about how many people actually registered how many weapons under that new law, the state refused to provide any numbers. Paloma Capanna has to sue for her client under the Freedom of Information Act to get any information. The New York State Police finally provided the requested information. 23,847 New Yorkers registered 44,485 firearms. That left an estimated one million New Yorkers as the newest “FELONS” in that state (actually 976,153 if doing the math)! So the good news is New Yorkers didn’t fold under the current fascist regime. The bad news is the Republican nominee for President again doesn’t know or just doesn’t have his facts straight about what real Americans will do when demands are placed on them by a dictatorial, fascist “govern”ment. You see, as usual our forefathers got it right when they wrote the Bill of Rights!

  • Illinois Ronnie July 22, 2016, 11:18 pm

    We have to vote Republican if we want to keep our guns and not have another Cival War Pence should be our next President in 8 years he’s been the kind of person we have needed in the white house for years.

  • Chris Baker July 22, 2016, 6:17 pm

    “Trump added that he’s a lifetime member of the NRA.”

    Is he really? Has he shown anyone his membership card? Has the NRA verified that Trump is in fact a life member? The text said lifetime member, not quite the same as Life Member, oops my bad. Do the records show that he has been a member since he was old enough to join or shortly thereafter?

    I’m really curious about that. It should be simple to show. Here’s mine:
    Member ID:1314703

  • Pwalker July 22, 2016, 4:35 pm

    Totally agree that removing all guns will cause an unprecedented spike in crime. What are people thinking when they vote to willingly give away the ability to protect their family from the types of sick predations that some people would gladly impose upon them simply because they knew these people couldn’t protect themselves? Might as well put out a sign saying “do what you will,I can’t stop you”. See how that works.

  • tom July 22, 2016, 12:56 pm

    perpetual motion is a fact,it is the known solution it resides in D.C. and is called political confusion !

    • Newell D Anderson July 22, 2016, 2:15 pm

      Do I trust Trump with my 2nd Amendment Rights?

      What is my other choice?

  • tom July 22, 2016, 12:42 pm

    when a person is killed by a car, the car doesnt get blamed,BUT when someone is killed involving a gun the gun gets blamed, utter stupidity. those in power know this but have braim washed the masses to further their agendas for control of us .

    • Chris Baker July 22, 2016, 6:19 pm

      Very true. The recent attack with a truck was one of the deadliest in history. Nobody is talking about banning trucks.

  • tom July 22, 2016, 12:27 pm

    daily more people are killed by kitchen knives than ‘guns’ ,so stop the false news .

    • American July 22, 2016, 1:05 pm

      Back he news up a little = Indiana has had a carry permit system for decades. It was in pace when I lived there in the early 1980’s ,cost was $5.00

  • peteyraymond July 22, 2016, 11:37 am

    If the NRA endorses him, that’s good enough for me. Even if they didn’t endorse him, he would still be a thousand times more preferable to Crooked Hillary.

  • Silver July 22, 2016, 10:45 am

    I agree with the folks who think Trump is a ego maniac, a type of a buffoon and even a one tyme (if not still) New York Liberal, but I’ll be voting for the people he surrounds himself with. And Pence is a great start. If Trump goes off on a liberal selling spree his “head will be on a stake”. Let alone the fact that his narcissistic outlook won’t allow him to fail.
    The Republican ticket is our very best chance of protecting our 2nd admendment. Hillary & Johnson, well we know they’re not our friends when it comes to gun rights.

    Now, here in Kalifornia, if we could only send Governor Brown, Newsome and the rest of the liberals to the “corn field” we’d be alot better off.

  • Mocatz July 22, 2016, 10:42 am

    Why is voting for Trump “holding your nose”? This guy is solid, did you see the oprah winfrey interview he did when he was around 20 years old? He flip flops less than anyone.
    As far as donating to democrats, try doing work in a major US city without it. What? sound like corruption? When did a republican do anything about it. Or maybe its because trump doesn’t invoke Jesus Christ’s name every minute? Well who did? No president I can remember mentioned their religion much, they were fairly private about it. Cruz mentioning Jesus all the time. Cruz’s sermon style speeches, Cruz’s weak Boehner like response to Justice Ginsberg’s comments, all garbage.
    I was highly offended at the work of the “grass roots activists”. As a primary voter, I feel like I’m doing more than the average voter and knowing those “activists” were undermining the will of the people made me want to go to w*r! grassroots activists votes don’t equate to general election votes. But the worst crime of all Cruz committed was how he disregarded the will of the people using ancient party rules to thwart the will of the people, all with the help of George Soros money, Cruz is a traitor! And he was never in the running. He couldn’t get elected Dog Catcher.

    • Roger Franco July 22, 2016, 6:01 pm

      Mocatz, I probably could have made a better choice of words. Holding your nose is probably the wrong analogy. The only problem that I have with Mr. Trump is some of the really, not well thought out, remarks he has made during the race for the nomination. Anyone with the serious ambition to become President should not go out of their way to alienate any demographic of gender or religion or race. It is just not good political practice. Hillary already has the gender advantage of at least 50% of the voting populous, which happens to be of the female variety. Of course I’m going to vote for him. I just want him to act a little more Presidential in his choice of words. No one is all things to all people, but you don’t have to go out of your way to piss them off either.

  • Mark July 22, 2016, 10:38 am

    I have long said that what this country needs in a POTUS is someone who is a businessman not a politician man, Personally I think that if our great country and all its faults were run more like a business then I would think we could make some progress in making this country into what it was in the middle to late part of the past century. We had a lot of businesses we had a lot of manufacturing, we had a lot of pride in who we are….AMERICANS! No, its oh I’m a Hispanic American, or I’m a Black American, or I’m a…(insert class, color,etc.). What happened to just being an American? A lot of the immigrants who came to this country,(legally) came and took the oath to be an….American, they WANTED to be American, no its all about me or its all about this or that, pick a cause and go for it.
    As far as 2A goes, if we let that bitch, and I’m being nice in calling her a bitch was to get elected then as one post stated we would see a second American Revolution no doubt, pick a side, but be damn sure you know what you’re getting into, because there would be damn sure blood in the streets. OK I get it, you don’t like Trump, my wife doesn’t like Trump, but she knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that Ms Bitch Clinton is NOT the answer. If you don’t like Trump OK but vote for Trump so the bitch doesn’t get elected. Here we are into the 21st century, up until BO got elected race relations weren’t the best, but it wasn’t what we’re seeing in today’s day and age. Mr. BO has done more to divide the races than he has done to bring them closer together. Before any folks out there start trying to say I’m being prejudice, or racist, let me just say this. We have 3 kids our own son & daughter, plus we adopted a daughter from Haiti years ago, she is now grown has to little ones of her own. I’ll be damned if I’m going to allow the Butcher of Benghazi in the oval office, I tell my friends and family and quite frnkly anyone who listens to not vote for that bitch but vote for Trump, at least with Mr Trump and his VP pick Mr. Pence, we shouldn’t have to worry about giving up our weapons, or gun for all you civilians out there. Thank you for taking the time to read my point of view on things, it is greatly appreciated. Be well, stay safe, and God bless.

    • JR Hurd July 22, 2016, 12:54 pm

      I got yer back Mark……

  • Roger Franco July 22, 2016, 8:03 am

    Ok, boys and girls, I am as apprehensive as all of you. This will not be the first time we have had to vote while holding our nose. I am 70 years old and have exercised my right to vote in every election from LBJ to this one. There is only one clear choice. If you waste your vote on a third party candidate because of your conscience you will fall into the trap that Hillary is praying for. We all know that realistically, all politicians, (or self-proclaimed non-politicians), have to pander to the demographic that they are most likely to receive votes from. Just a fact of political life.
    When any person running for office asks for my vote, my first question is, “What is your stand on 2A”? I always tell them that if you won’t back us on that one, that you probably won’t back us on the rest of the constitution. I was personally hoping that Trump would pick Sarah Palin for VP. I can clearly see the strategic reasoning for picking Mike Pence.
    We can only pray that the team of Trump/Pence is as proficient at running the country as Trump has been to beat the snot out of incumbent professional Washington insiders and career politicians.

    • tom July 22, 2016, 12:31 pm

      you should have been holding your nose for the clinton/obama years in office.

    • SSGRick July 22, 2016, 2:54 pm

      Roger, if you have any reservations about Mike Pence you should check out his record when he was in Congress. It was great! I knew AND predicted that he would make a fantastic VP or President and now I strongly believe that at the end of Trump’s 8 years in White House Mike Pence will handily win that office in 2024.
      If he is nothing else, Mike Pence is now and has ALWAYS been a staunch conservative first and a republican second! I actually wished he had run for President in 2012 but he thought he wasn’t ready at that time. I was really disappointed when he left Congress in 2012 and many speculated that he would run then of course we all know what happened instead.
      We have the right team, in the right place at the precise time in history where they can do the most good.
      May God bless this team and reward the American people with their victory come November.

      • mac10tom July 22, 2016, 6:17 pm

        I was in favor of Condoleezza Rice.

  • Midwestern blood in SoCal July 22, 2016, 5:44 am

    Well, many of us have our fill of Ivy League lawyers, sociologists, histo-theorists, and others who interpret Constitution/ Bill of Rights/ State Law in their own personal language. We need law to hinge on justice, not the other way around.
    Ms. Clinton failed my confidence vote with 9/11; little but a spectator while a mere mayor ran the show. Her subsequent forays into international politics generates mire at her personal level, and foolish projects toward friends and foes alike. She was nothing but bait and switch to women voters in for Obama’s first term.
    Since we can’t clone our Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, the Roosevelt’s, Truman etc; it is time for a businessman; despite a tactless, egoistic and general clownish personality. I feel January 20th at noon is a wake-up call for inaugurates, foisting that solemn mantel will be the proof.
    Too bad the recall process is so unproductive – political instead of just plain justice.

  • shane July 22, 2016, 4:35 am

    I like what I’m hearing Trump say, but I honestly don’t know how deep his stated convictions run or what he’ll do as President.
    However, I know full well what Hitlery is all about and will eagerly vote for Trump to keep that bitch out of the Oval Office.
    No need to over think any of this, IMO.

    • shane July 22, 2016, 12:15 pm

      I’d further add, if Trump is and will do what all he publicly states, he’ll either…
      #1 – Not be elected, by hook or crook.
      #2 – Plane or other ‘accident’ or outright, in your face, clearly assassinated.
      #3 – He’ll be compromised and stay hands-off on some of TPTB bigger NWO plans dear to them
      I say that cause TPTB have no moral restraint whatsoever to maintain their hold and they won’t ever go quietly into the night, allowing their unbridled and arrogant lust for power plans to ever risk being unwound. Assassination is their, for them, easy go to when all else fails, after all they’ll start wars killing millions when deemed expedient.
      As far as #3, I witnessed that with even Reagan, when he ran he was at first sounding like a JBS meeting talking about and exposing ‘the insiders’, banksters and fixed media and they all painted him as another un-electable Goldwater with his finger on the button. Quick as he shut up about all that and took Bush on as running mate his press turned around enough to get elected. He made a deal with the devil to stay hands off the Federal Reserve and other initiatives dear to TPTB and to not be pulling the curtain back anymore, saying to himself that he could do more good as President, even with these restrictions, than not to be POTUS at all, and to his credit he did do a lot of good. Trump could find himself with same deal presented and accepted with other options looming not to.

  • DRAINO July 21, 2016, 10:16 am

    Ok, Seriously….You “doom and gloomers” need to get over yourselves!!! Stop crying because he’s not another Reagan. Trump may not be what you expected, but I guarantee he won’t be as bad as you think. There are too many good/intelligent people endorsing him….putting their reputations on the line. I won’t even go over how much better he will be than Hitlery. So Toughen up Buttercups!!! We NEED NON-POLITICIANS in office right now. That’s what its going to take to get the Govt back under control of the people….WE the people….not Washington people…..not establishment people. I’d say he looks like a decent choice for VP. At least he’s not some flaming Liberal!! Good Article.

    • Jay July 22, 2016, 8:11 am

      We The People, have been bought out of public office. When you consider all the facts, not one single ordinary citizen can run for office and stand a chance because of the laws passed. The contributions would not be there. Only those who pander to the money can ever be elected, the system has been arranged that way over the years so the money mongers remain in control, and yet they still want more of it!

      • Robert July 22, 2016, 10:18 am

        You hit the nail straight on the head!!

  • Powder Burns July 20, 2016, 3:16 pm

    Pandering at it’s very best. The funny part is the Morons that are either too stupid or too lazy to do their own research so they buy into the snake oil this POS sells… DO NOT BELIEVE A WORD THIS MAN SAYS…He is a New York City Spoiled Rich Brat born and raised. He made his fortune the old fashioned way…He got it from his Daddy.. He has been proven to be a liar countless times. I’m not saying Billary and her Marxist agenda is the answer but I would hope that people are smart enough to see Mr. Drumpf for what he is…A Jerry Springer Politician pandering to the lowest common denominator in all of Us…

    Then again, if past is prologue…………

    • Brian July 22, 2016, 3:42 am

      I am on the Trump Train and he is the only candidate eligible for the office of the President of the United States of America.
      Lying Stupid Krooked Killary”The Butcher of Benghazi ” Klinton is everything no American should be and it is a shame that 650 Americans, 650 unknown Super Delegates, chose her as the DemonKKKRatic Mafia party’s candidate.
      God Bless the USA and Springfield Armory!

    • AntiDemoncrat July 22, 2016, 8:14 am

      To those of you people who honestly think that Hillary Clinton is what this country needs, YOU ARE WHATS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY!! This woman has lied over and over. She wouldn’t know the truth if it walked up to her and kicked her in the face. She cannot be trusted to run this great country, even with all its faults.
      Donald Trump is our ONLY hope to take back what Oasshole and all the others have taken away, or attempted to take away. Dems are in to big of a hurry to take our guns. All I can say to that is MOLON LABE BITCHES!!! Without our 2nd Amendment, there are no others!!!
      So all you whiny ass, pussified, what about me mentality, refuse to grow up assholes need to get over yourselves. NO POLITICIAN knows whats best for you!!! Trump is Not a politician, he’s a businessman, and he is leaving that decision with each and every one of us, even you stupid jerks. Even though you all need put into a mental hospital for thinking you can tell all Americans we don’t need our 2nd Amendment. Again, you are what’s wrong with this country.

    • Rob July 22, 2016, 10:27 am

      I agree with you 100%, but I’ll be voting for the people he surrounds himself. And Pence is a great start. If Trump goes off on a liberal selling spree his “head will be on a stake”. Let alone the fact that his narcissistic outlook won’t allow him to fail.
      He is our very best chance of protecting the 2nd admendnent. Hillary & Johnson, well we know they’re not our friends when it comes to gun rights.

  • taxx73 July 16, 2016, 12:50 am

    Ladies and gentleman please welcome the 45th President of the United States, Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence. I hope and pray that this statement is prophetic. To all good and intelligent people please help make this happen by getting out and voting. Let\’s show Hitlery that we don\’t want treasonous tyrants running our country. Too many people I know including myself are sick and tired of this demonrat p.c. b.s. that if elected Hitlery will cause the 2nd American Revolution. If you really listen to her campaign speeches it sounds more like stuff that Adolf Hitler said during his time as leader of Germany. Society\’s needs does not come before the individual rights affirmed in the Bill of Rights. As far as I\’m concerned anyone that votes for Hitlery should have their mental health tested. To all the Odumbo\’s and Hirlery\’s out there: LEAVE OUR RIGHTS ALONE!!!!!!

    • Powder Burns July 20, 2016, 3:18 pm

      That makes Trump Mussolini….

      • BigAl July 22, 2016, 8:27 am

        That makes you a knucklehead.

        • shane July 22, 2016, 2:08 pm

          “knucklehead” brings back some memories. It was a favorite term of derision of my Dad’s WWII generation, had it said of me by him a few times, deservedly.

      • macpine July 22, 2016, 8:32 am

        And if that is so, Mr. Powder Burns, that makes you what comes out the south end of a north bound chicken….

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