Donald Trump on Gun Control
2016 Republican nominee for President; 2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President
TRUMP: First of all, I agree, and a lot of people even within my own party want to give certain rights to people on watch lists and no-fly lists. I agree with you. When a person is on a watch list or a no-fly list, and I have the endorsement of the NRA, which I'm very proud of--but I think we have to look very strongly at no-fly lists and watch lists. And when people are on there, if they shouldn't be on there, we'll help them legally, we'll help them get off. But I tend to agree with that quite strongly.
TRUMP: Well, we have to report. The big thing that we're missing here is that people have to report when they see somebody. This man was pretty much unhinged. It was the gun store that did report him when he went in to buy all sorts of body armor and other things. They reported him to law enforcement, and, very sadly, nothing was done. It could have been prevented.
Q: But, in this case, he was investigated twice by the FBI, was taken off a list. There was no red flag.
TRUMP: Well, there were red flags, I mean, because when he walked in to buy all sorts of ammunition and body armor.
Q: Should somebody who goes in to buy that much ammunition get extra scrutiny?
TRUMP: Well, it depends. But [in this case the report], unfortunately, wasn't followed up.
BUSH: We don't need to add new rules. We need to focus on what the bigger issue is: we should focus on is the violence in our communities. The other issue is mental health. Why not begin to deal with the process of mental health issues so that people that are spiraling out of control because of mental health challenges don't have access to guns.
TRUMP: What Jeb said is absolutely correct. We have a huge mental health problem in this country. We're closing hospitals, we're closing wards, we're closing so many because the states want to save money. We have to get back into looking at what's causing it. The guns don't pull the trigger. It's the people that pull the trigger and we have to find out what is going on. You get the Congress. You get the Senate. You get together. You do legislation.
TRUMP: No. I am a 2nd amendment person. If we had guns in California on the other side where the bullets went in the different direction, you wouldn't have 14 or 15 people dead right now. If even in Paris, if they had guns on the other side, going in the opposite direction, you wouldn't have 130 people plus dead. So the answer is no and what Jeb said is absolutely correct.
TRUMP: We have to have a watch list, but we have the laws already on the books as far as Second Amendment for guns, if people are on a watch list or people are sick, this is already covered in the legislation that we already have,
Q: But under current law people on the watch list are allowed to buy guns.
TRUMP: If somebody is on a watch list and an enemy of state and we know it's an enemy of state, I would keep them away, absolutely.
That's why I'm very much in favor of making all concealed-carry permits valid in every state. Every state has its own driving test that residents have to pass before becoming licensed to drive. Those tests are different in many states, but once a state licenses you to drive, every other state recognizes that license as valid.
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. That seems logical to me.
TRUMP: Because I like to have myself protected.
Q: In the context of current gun violence, would you advise people to get that?
TRUMP: Well, I'm a big Second Amendment person. As an example, for the horrible thing that just took place in Oregon had somebody in that room had a gun, the result would have been better.
Q: So, should people get armed the way you are?
TRUMP: Well, that's up to them.
Q: What about teachers?
TRUMP: I think that if you had the teacher, assuming they knew how use a weapon, which hopefully they would, you would have been a lot better wh
Q: What's your explanation?
TRUMP: They're just sick people. They are mentally imbalanced.
Q: Do you think we have more mentally ill people than other countries?
TRUMP: I think what we have is I think we have copycats. I think they watch it and they see it here maybe more than other places.
TRUMP: The way I look at it, you take Chicago, you take Baltimore, you take various other places where you have tremendous gun violence and death, right? The strictest laws in the United States-- in the world-- for guns happens to be Chicago where they have a lot of problems. Baltimore, a lot of the places where you have the biggest problem is where they have the strongest laws. So I don't think it's about laws.
Q: But local laws without a national floor are pointless.
TRUMP: It really is mental health problem.
Q: You don't believe that we have too many guns?
TRUMP: Well, for example, the school at which the last mass shooting occurred was a gun-free zone and you were not allowed to have guns there. You could make the case that it would have been a lot better had people had guns because they could fire back.
TRUMP: No matter what you'll do you have people that are mentally ill and they have problems and they're going to slip through the cracks.
Q: So no new gun laws?
TRUMP: Well, the gun laws have nothing to do with this. This isn't guns. This is about mental illness. You're always going to have difficulties, no matter how tight you run it. Even if you had great education having to do with mental illness, you educate the community, still you're going to have people that slip through the cracks. And these people are more than slipping through the cracks.
A: This is something to look into--people with mental health problems are on the streets who shouldn't be.
A: These are sick people. This has nothing to do with guns, this has to do with the mentality of these people. I'm a big Second Amendment person. I believe in it so strongly, and if you take the guns away from the good people, and the bad ones are going to have target practice.
During a 2013 interview, the real estate mogul defined himself as, "a very strong person on the 2nd Amendment." He believes guns are necessary for self-defense and has written that he generally opposes gun control. In his 2000 book, "The America We Deserve" Trump wrote that he supports a ban on assault weapons and a slightly longer waiting period to buy a gun.
In his CPAC speech, Trump sounded many themes popular with Republican conservatives. "I am pro-life," he said. "I am against gun control."
And in one of his biggest applause lines, Trump vowed to end the nation's health care law: "I will fight to end Obamacare and replace it with something that makes sense for people in business and not bankrupt the country." Trump also pledged not to raise taxes if elected.
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