Mark Begich on Gun Control
Democratic Jr Senator
Strongly supports Constitutional right to bear arms
Mark strongly supports the right to bear arms as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and protected by the Alaska Constitution. He is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, owns firearms and was one of the first
Anchorage citizens to obtain a concealed weapons permit when it was required. Most recently, Mark applauded the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the District of Columbia’s 32-year-old ban on handguns.
Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, www.begich.com
, Aug 19, 2008
Lifetime member of NRA
Begich is a corporate member of the Association of the United States Army, a member of the Air Force Association and a life member of the National Rifle Association.
Source: 2008 Senate campaign website, www.begich.com, “Bio”
, Apr 4, 2008
Voted NO on banning high-capacity magazines of over 10 bullets.
- The term 'large capacity ammunition feeding device' means a magazine or similar device that has an overall capacity of more than 10 rounds of ammunition
- It shall be unlawful for a person to import, sell, manufacture, or possess a large capacity ammunition feeding device.
- Shall not apply to the possession of any large capacity ammunition feeding device otherwise lawfully possessed before 2013.
- Shall not apply to qualified or retired law enforcement officers.
Proponent's Argument for voting Yes: Sen. BLUMENTHAL: This amendment would ban high-capacity magazines which are used to kill more people more quickly and, in fact, have been used in more than half the mass shootings since 1982. I ask my colleagues to listen to law enforcement, their police, prosecutors who are outgunned by criminals who use these high-capacity magazines. I ask that my colleagues also listen to the families of those killed by people who
used a high-capacity magazine.
Opponent's Argument for voting No: Sen. GRASSLEY. I oppose the amendment. In 2004, which is the last time we had the large-capacity magazine ban, a Department of Justice study found no evidence banning such magazines has led to a reduction in gun violence. The study also concluded it is not clear how often the outcomes of the gun attack depend on the ability of offenders to fire more than 10 shots without reloading. Secondly, there is no evidence banning these magazines has reduced the deaths from gun crimes. In fact, when the previous ban was in effect, a higher percentage of gun crime victims were killed or wounded than before it was adopted. Additionally, tens of millions of these magazines have been lawfully owned in this country for decades. They are in common use, not unusually dangerous, and used by law-abiding citizens in self-defense, as in the case of law enforcement.
Reference: Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act;
Bill S.Amdt. 714 to S. 649
; vote number 13-SV103
on Apr 17, 2013
Voted YES on allowing firearms in checked baggage on Amtrak trains.
Congressional Summary:AMENDMENT PURPOSE: To ensure that law abiding Amtrak passengers are allowed to securely transport firearms in their checked baggage.
On page 37, between lines 8 and 9, insert the following: "Allowing Amtrak Passengers to Securely Transport Firearms on Passenger Trains.--None of amounts made available in the reserve fund authorized under this section may be used to provide financial assistance for the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) unless Amtrak passengers are allowed to securely transport firearms in their checked baggage.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Sen. ROGER WICKER (R, MS). This amendment aims to ensure that gun owners and sportsmen are able to transport securely firearms aboard Amtrak trains in checked baggage, a practice that is done thousands of times a day at airports across the country. I emphasize that this amendment deals with checked, secured baggage only. It would return
Amtrak to a pre-9/11 practice. It does not deal with carry-on baggage. Unlike the airline industry, Amtrak does not allow the transport of firearms in checked bags. This means that sportsmen who wish to use Amtrak trains for hunting trips cannot do so because they are not allowed to check safely a firearm.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Sen. FRANK LAUTENBERG (D, NJ): I object to this disruptive amendment offered by the Senator from Mississippi. He wants to enable the carrying of weapons, guns, in checked baggage. One doesn't have to be very much concerned about what we are doing when they look at the history of attacks on railroads in Spain and the UK and such places. This amendment has no place here interrupting the budgetary procedure. The pending amendment is not germane and, therefore, I raise a point of order that the amendment violates section 305(b)(2) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
Reference: Wicker Amendment;
Bill S.Amdt.798 to S.Con.Res.13
; vote number 2009-S145
on Apr 2, 2009
National cross-state standard for concealed carry.
Begich signed H.R.197&S.845
Establishes a national standard for the carrying of concealed firearms (other than a machinegun or destructive device) by non-residents. Authorizes a person who has a valid permit to carry a concealed firearm in one state and who is not prohibited from carrying a firearm under federal law to carry a concealed firearm in another state:
Source: National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act 09-HR197 on Jan 6, 2009
Notwithstanding any law of any State, a person who is not prohibited by Federal law from possessing a firearm and is carrying a valid license to carry a concealed firearm may carry in another State a concealed firearm.
- If such other State issues licenses to carry concealed firearms, the person may carry a concealed firearm in the State under the same restrictions which apply in that State.
- If such other State does not issue licenses to carry concealed firearms, the person may not carry a concealed firearm in a police station, in a courthouse, at a meeting of a governing body, in a school, at an athletic event, in an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages, or inside an airport, except to the extent expressly permitted by State law.
Sponsored loosening restrictions on interstate gun purchases.
Begich sponsored Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act
Congressional Summary:Amends the federal criminal code to:allow licensed firearms dealers to sell or deliver any firearm (currently, rifles or shotguns) to any state if the licensee meets with the purchaser and the transaction complies with the laws of the state in which the transfer is conducted and the purchaser's state of residence; and eliminate the requirement that a licensee must conduct business at a gun show only in the state that is specified on the licensee's license.Nothing in this Act shall prohibit the sale of a firearm or ammunition between licensed firearms dealers at any location in any state.
Proponent's Comments (NRA-ILA, Oct. 14, 2011): This bill would remove several antiquated and unnecessary restrictions imposed on interstate firearms business since 1968:
Source: HR58/S1691 11-H0058 on Oct 12, 2011
- Virtually all interstate transfers directly between private citizens are banned; so are nearly all interstate handgun sales by licensed dealers.
- Firearms dealers may only do business at their licensed premises or (since 1986) at gun shows in their own state.
- Dealers may not even transfer firearms to one another face to face, away from their business premises.
Allow veterans to register unlicensed guns acquired abroad.
Begich co-sponsored Veterans' Heritage Firearms Act
Source: HR420/S798 11-S0798 on Apr 12, 2011
- Provides a 90-day amnesty period during which veterans and their family members can register in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record any firearm acquired before October 31, 1968, by a veteran while a member of the Armed Forces stationed outside the continental United States.
- Grants such an individual limited immunity with respect to the acquisition, possession, transportation, or alteration of such firearm before or concurrent with such registration.
Extends such immunity to a veteran who attempts to register a qualifying firearm outside of the amnesty period if the veteran surrenders the firearm within 30 days after being notified of potential criminal liability for continued possession.
- Transfers each firearm qualifying as a curio or relic which has been forfeited to the United States to the first qualified museum that requests it
- Publishes information identifying each such firearm which is available to be transferred to a museum.
- Makes a prohibition against transfer or possession of a machine-gun inapplicable to museums.
Oppose the United Nations' Arms Trade Treaty.
Begich signed Letter to Pres. Obama from 50 Senators
Dear President Obama:
We write to express our concern and regret at your decision to sign the United Nations' Arms Trade Treaty. For the following reasons, we cannot give our advice and consent to this treaty:
We urge you to notify the treaty depository that the US does not intend to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty, and is therefore not bound by its obligations. As members of the Senate, we pledge to oppose the ratification of this treaty, and we give notice that we do not regard the US as bound to uphold its object and purpose.
Source: Letter to Obama from 50 Senators 13-UNATT on Sep 25, 2013
- The treaty violates a 2009 red line laid down by your own administration: "the rule of consensus decision-making." In April 2013, after the treaty failed to achieve consensus, it was adopted by majority vote in the UN General Assembly.
- The treaty allows amendments by a 3/4 majority vote. When amended, it will become a source of political and legal pressure on the US to comply in practice with amendments it was unwilling to accept.
- The treaty includes only a weak, non-binding reference to the lawful ownership and use of firearms, and recognizes none of these activities, much less individual self-defense, as fundamental individual rights. It encourages governments to collect the identities of individual end users of imported firearms at the national level,
which would constitute the core of a national gun registry
- The State Department has acknowledged that the treaty is "ambiguous." By becoming party to the treaty, the US would therefore be accepting commitments that are inherently unclear.
- The criteria at the heart of the treaty are vague and easily politicized. They will steadily subject the US to the influence of internationally-defined norms, a process that would impinge on our national sovereignty.
- The treaty criteria as established could hinder the US in fulfilling its strategic, legal, and moral commitments to provide arms to key allies such as Taiwan and Israel.
Apply concealed carry permit to all other states where legal.
Begich signed Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act
Amends the federal criminal code to provide for reciprocity for the carrying of certain concealed firearms in different states by persons who are not prohibited by federal law from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm and who are:
Source: S.371&HR1620 2009-S371 on Feb 3, 2009
- carrying a valid state license or permit for carrying a concealed firearm; or
- otherwise entitled to carry a concealed firearm in their state of residence.
Page last updated: Jun 26, 2018