By Larry Keane
U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) knows more than most about firearms and how they operate. That didn’t stop her, however, from joining Moms Demand Action’s Shannon Watts on Everytown for Gun Safety’s Veepstakes to peddle misstatements and untruths about guns. She’s trying out to be presumptive 2020 Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s running mate and Watts played along.
Sen. Duckworth started by negating a gun control myth that the country is awash in automatic guns. Automatic firearms are strictly controlled. Sen. Duckworth leaned on her military background to explain to Watts, “Even the military doesn’t provide our troops with fully automatic weapons.” Not quite, but not all troops carry belt-fed machine guns.
Sen. Duckworth also strayed from the gun control party line when she explained that safe firearm ownership and handling can be done with the right training and safety. She explained she learned firearm safety from her father, a top U.S. military marksman.
“At a young age, from that military experience and background, he taught us discipline,” she said. “Dad was very, very strict.”
Millions of law-abiding gun owners in America agree, but it doesn’t stop the senator from pushing a “do as I say, not as I do” mantra. It’s similar to what Everytown-funder and billionaire Michael Bloomberg got caught saying before he gave up his failed, billion-dollar presidential run.
Get Out of Jail
Sen. Duckworth admitted concern for personal safety from criminals is a driving factor for millions of Americans purchasing guns. Nearly 2.5 million first-time gun buyers from March to May. Sen. Duckworth said it’s obvious in Chicago and the rest of her home state of Illinois.
“In the Cook County jail, they’re releasing some pretty bad folks,” she said.
Instead of listening to that concern, Watts and Sen. Duckworth dismissed it. They demagogued Second Amendment supporters for “stoking fear” and “using racism and xenophobia” to keep guns stores open during the pandemic and subsequent riots and looting.
Sen. Duckworth’s priorities are the usual gun control talking points. She shared them with Watts, including ending illegal straw purchases, taking “combat style” weapons off the street, instituting universal background checks that would make felons out of law-abiding citizens and even a nationwide fingerprint database to track firearm ownership.
Firearm Industry Leading with Real Solutions®
Sen. Duckworth should have done her homework. The firearm industry is providing Real Solutions that already tackle the issues she believes can only be solved by seizing rights and passing gun control laws.
Project ChildSafe® promotes safe firearm storage through partnerships with 15,000 local law enforcement agencies and providing more than 38 million free firearm safety kits, including locking devices. Operation Secure Store®, a partnership with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), educates and assists firearm retailers to voluntarily improve security at their stores to reduce theft and burglaries. A component of that program involves NSSF matching ATF reward offers to bring to justice the criminals that victimize firearm retailers and their communities. Through Don’t Lie for The Other Guy™ NSSF and ATF work together to stop illegal straw firearm purchases in their tracks and warn the public of the accompanying $250,000 fine and up to 10 years in prison for committing the felony. NSSF’s FixNICS® campaign successfully changed the law in 16 states and in Congress to improve the submittal process of disqualifying adjudicated mental health records.
The firearm industry is serious about firearm safety and responsible gun ownership and will continue to educate voters ahead of November’s election with the #GUNVOTE® online resource.
Larry Keane is Senior Vice President of Government and Public Affairs and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association.