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Elizabeth Dole on Gun Control

Republican Sr Senator


Switched from supporting gun restrictions to opposing

Elizabeth Dole did change one position she had taken in her presidential primary run, which was her earlier support for certain gun restrictions. She knew this could be problematic in a state with a strong tradition of support for 2nd Amendment rights. She weighed mountains of evidence carefully, listened to program supporters, and researched the issues.

By the time she came out in opposition to gun restrictions, she was not only versed in the policy details, she had internalized the position. It was hers. It was a reversal, but it was a reversal she believed was right. She wasn't just mouthing somebody else's policy, but espousing what she believed.

I'm not na‹ve enough to think the political dynamic wasn't an incentive for her to reevaluate her stance, but I also have no doubt that if she could not have gotten her mind around it she never would have gotten her heart into it.

Source: Winning Right, by Ed Gillespie, p.130-131 , Sep 5, 2006

Ban AK-47s; add safety locks; instant background checks

“Can you think of any reason a family needs an AK-47 or an Uzi to protect their family or go hunting?” asked Dole, who favors child safety locks on guns and instant background checks on people trying to buy guns.
Source: Chris Burritt, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution , Jun 4, 1999

Ban AK-47s

[Dole] told reporters... “You don’t need an AK-47 to defend your family.”
Source: Boston Herald, 5/6/99, p. 35 col. 2 , May 6, 1999

Limited right to bear arms.

[Dole] called for measures like retaining the prohibition on assault weapons, backing a ban on armor-piercing bullets, and favoring child safety locks on guns. “I certainly believe in the Second Amendment and a person’s right to bear arms. But... you don’t need an AK-47 to defend your family.”
Source: New York Times, 5/4/99, p. A18, col. 1-2 , May 4, 1999

Voted YES on prohibiting foreign & UN aid that restricts US gun ownership.

Amendment SA 2774 to H.R. 2764, the Department of State's International Aid bill: To prohibit the use of funds by international organizations, agencies, and entities (including the United Nations) that require the registration of, or taxes guns owned by citizens of the United States.

Proponents support voting YES because:

Sen. VITTER: This is a straight funding limitation amendment. Many folks who haven't followed the proceedings on this in the U.N. may ask: What is this all about? Unfortunately, it is about an effort in the United Nations to bring gun control to various countries through that international organization. Unfortunately, that has been an ongoing effort which poses a real threat, back to 1995. In 2001, the UN General Assembly adopted a program of action designed to infringe on second amendment rights. The Vitter amendment simply says we are not going to support any international organization that requires a registration of US citizens' guns or taxes US citizens' guns. If other folks in this Chamber think that is not happening, that it is never going to happen, my reply is simple and straightforward: Great, then this language has no effect. It is no harm to pass it as a failsafe. It has no impact. But, in fact, related efforts have been going on in the U.N. since at least 1995. I hope this can get very wide, bipartisan support, and I urge all my colleagues to support this very fundamental, straightforward amendment.

No opponents spoke against the bill.

Reference: Vitter Amendment to State Dept. Appropriations Bill; Bill S.Amdt. 2774 to H.R. 2764 ; vote number 2007-321 on Sep 6, 2007

Voted YES on prohibiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers.

A bill to prohibit civil liability actions from being brought or continued against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms or ammunition for damages, injunctive or other relief resulting from the misuse of their products by others. Voting YES would:
Reference: Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act; Bill S 397 ; vote number 2005-219 on Jul 29, 2005

Voted NO on banning lawsuits against gun manufacturers for gun violence.

Vote to pass a bill that would block certain civil lawsuits against manufacturers, distributors, dealers and importers of firearms and ammunition, mainly those lawsuits aimed at making them liable for gun violence. In this bill, trade groups would also be protected The bill would call for the dismissal of pending lawsuits against the gun industry. The exception would be lawsuits regarding a defect in a weapon or ammunition. It also would provide a 10-year reauthorization of the assault weapons ban which is set to expire in September 2004. The bill would increase the penalties for gun-related violent or drug trafficking crimes which have not resulted in death, to a minimum of 15 years imprisonment. The bill calls for criminal background checks on all firearm transactions at gun shows where at least 75 guns are sold. Exemptions would be made available for dealers selling guns from their homes as well as members-only gun swaps and meets carried out by nonprofit hunting clubs.
Reference: Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act; Bill S.1805/H.R.1036 ; vote number 2004-30 on Mar 2, 2004

Rated A by the NRA, indicating a pro-gun rights voting record.

Dole scores A by NRA on pro-gun rights policies

While widely recognized today as a major political force and as America's foremost defender of Second Amendment rights, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has, since its inception, been the premier firearms education organization in the world. But our successes would not be possible without the tireless efforts and countless hours of service our nearly three million members have given to champion Second Amendment rights and support NRA programs.

The following ratings are based on lifetime voting records on gun issues and the results of a questionaire sent to all Congressional candidates; the NRA assigned a letter grade (with A+ being the highest and F being the lowest).

Source: NRA website 02n-NRA on Dec 31, 2003

Ban gun registration & trigger lock law in Washington DC.

Dole co-sponsored banning gun registration & trigger lock law in Washington DC