Newt Gingrich on Guns: A Mixed Record

Prior to the “Republican Revolution” of 1994, Rep. Newt Gingrich of Georgia had earned an A rating with Gun Owners of America. But that all changed in 1995, after Republicans were swept to power and Gingrich became Speaker of the House.

The Republicans gained the majority, thanks in large part to gun owners outraged by the Clinton gun ban. And upon taking the reins of the House, Speaker Gingrich said famously that, “As long as I am Speaker of this House, no gun control legislation is going to move in committee or on the floor of this House and there will be no further erosion of their rights.”

His promise didn’t hold up, however, and his GOA rating quickly dropped like a lead sinker to a “D.” In 1996, the Republican-led Congress passed the “gun free school zones act,” creating criminal safe zones like Virginia Tech, where the only person armed was a murderous criminal. Speaker Newt Gingrich voted for the bill containing this ban.1

The same bill also contained the now infamous Lautenberg gun ban, which lowered the threshold for losing one’s Second Amendment rights to a mere misdemeanor.2 Gun owners could, as a result of this ban, lose their gun rights forever for non-violent shouting matches that occurred in the home — and, in many cases, lose their rights without a jury trial.

While a legislator might sometimes vote for a spending bill which contains objectionable amendments, that was clearly NOT the case with Newt Gingrich in 1996. Speaking on Meet the Press in September of that year, Speaker Gingrich said the Lautenberg gun ban was “a very reasonable position.”3 He even refused to cosponsor a repeal of the gun ban during the next Congress — despite repeated requests to do so.4

Also in 1996, Speaker Gingrich cast his vote for an anti-gun terror bill which contained several harmful provisions. For example, one of the versions he supported (in March of that year) contained a DeLauro amendment that would have severely punished gun owners for possessing a laser sighting device while committing an infraction as minor as speeding on a federal reservation.5 (Not only would this provision have stigmatized laser sights, it would have served as a first step to banning these items.) Another extremely harmful provision was the Schumer amendment to “centralize Federal, State and Local police.”6

 

 


[1] Final passage of H.R. 3610, Sept. 28, 1996 at: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/1996/roll455.xml . Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) warned his colleagues about the hidden dangers in H.R. 3610, and in regard to the Kohl ban, noted that it would “prohibit most persons from carrying unloaded firearms in their automobiles.”

[2] See Gingrich’s vote at: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/1996/roll455.xml .

[3] Associated Press, “Gingrich Favors Handgun Ban for Domestic Abuse Convicts,” Deseret News, Sept. 16, 1996. The full quote reveals how much Speaker Gingrich had adopted the anti-gunners’ line of thinking: “I’m very much in favor of stopping people who engage in violence against their spouses from having guns,” the Georgia Republican said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I think that’s a very reasonable position.” But the fact that this gun ban covers misdemeanors in the home is primary evidence that NON-violent people have been subjected to lifetime gun bans for things like: shouting matches, throwing a set of keys in the direction of another person, spanking a child, etc.

[4] See H.R.1009, “States’ Rights and Second and Tenth Amendment Restoration Act of 1997,” introduced by Rep. Helen Chenoweth (R-ID).

[5] H.R. 2703, March 14, 1996 at: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/1996/roll066.xml .

[6] S. 735, April 18, 1996 at: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/1996/roll126.xml .

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Will we be left with yet again holding our noses as we cast our votes..? Herman Cain‘s 999 plan will in fact raise taxes on virtually all Americans. That’s a really big no no for me. Romney is yet another RINO that would make the epic failure obama a shoe in if he were to run with Romney as his V. P. pick. Cain is also a suspect when it comes to being a closet gun grabber. Rick Perry has no real plan to deal with the invasion across our southern border, a deal breaker for me. Bachman needs to grow up politically. Ron Paul… is Ron Paul, what else can I say? Too be blunt, I have no use for Santorum, or any of the others, and in fact believe that they would be dangerous if placed into high office.

Still, I have to be considered a charter member of ABO, the anyone but obama group. Beyond that, the epic failure just might get reelected. To that end it is of utmost importance that we Conservatives and Libertarians see to it that both the Senate and House are solidly out of the hands of the Communist/Democrat/Progressive’s that are hell bent on destroying these United States. Election 2012 will, I believe, mark a turning point in American politics for years to come. Gary Nolan, a founder of the Libertarian Party, marked this election that way years ago while speaking at the Colorado convention. Something to do with election / political cycles.

Granted, no candidate is ever “perfect.” But compromising is simply not on the table when your core values are on the line. I say that along the lines of Barry Goldwater and it is a very good policy to follow. That takes a sort of moral courage that is, in reality, possessed by few people…

 

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2 Responses to “Newt Gingrich on Guns: A Mixed Record”

  1. mainenowandthen Says:

    ABO has got to be a priority, but so far the Republican field is disappointing. We must have leadership that is based upon a departure from the Washington-based political elite that is responsible for our current woes (along with the voters who carelessly keep them in office).

    For me, Herman Cain is the one voice that makes some sense, even with his tax plans. We have got to get a grip on government overspending and his proposed plan has a more realistic approach than anything else that has been put on the table even if it does mean a rise in tax revenue. Until everyone in America is taxed, the welfare state and its addicts and purveyors will continue to decimate our chances for economic recovery. In one way, Cain is taking a little of the heat away from the other candidates because he obviously is the one who worries the Democrats the most and they will do everything possible to destroy whoever is labeled the Republican frontrunner.

    Time is ticking away and I don’t think that we are going to see anyone on a white horse riding to the rescue. ABO may have to be the rallying cry.

    It would be very helpful if Independents were allowed to vote in primary elections and that is a movement that should get legs and become law.

  2. Patrick Sperry Says:

    Rather than Independents being allowed to vote in party primaries I would favor the ill fated brain child of a Denver Libertarian from back in the 80’s (Forgive me Dave but I can’t remember your last name, and there were just too many Dave’s around! ) called NOTA.

    None of the above should also be an alternative vote in the general election. Are there problems associated with that. Sure there is. However, they would be nothing compared to once again having to hold our collective noses as we vote in yet another incompetent or wanna be tyrant.

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