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Johnny Isakson on Gun Control

Republican Jr Senator; previously Rep (GA-6)


Strongly support the 2nd Amendment

Q: Johnny, do you support the 2nd Amendment?

A: I strongly support the 2nd Amendment. I believe we need criminal control not gun control. We should not only support gun ownership, shooting sports, and hunting, we should encourage them. One of our most cherished freedoms as Americans is our right to keep and bear arms, and we must never let anyone threaten it.

Source: 2004 Senate campaign website, Isakson.net, “Ask Johnny” , Aug 13, 2004

We need criminal control not gun control

We need criminal control not gun control. We should not only support gun ownership, shooting sports, and hunting, we should encourage them. One of our most cherished freedoms as Americans is our right to keep and bear arms, and we must never let anyone threaten it.
Source: 2004 Senate campaign website, Isakson.net, “Issues” , Aug 13, 2004

Voted NO on banning high-capacity magazines of over 10 bullets.

Congressional Summary:

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.

Isakson says, "Isakson (R-GA)"

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

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 YES on prohibiting suing gunmakers & sellers for gun misuse.

Vote to pass a bill that would prohibit liability lawsuits from being brought against gun manufacturers and dealers based on the criminal misuse of firearms. The bill would also block these actions from being brought up against gun trade organizations and against ammunition makers and sellers. The measure would apply immediately to any pending cases. Several specific exceptions to the ban exist. This includes civil suits would be allowed against a maker or dealer who "knowingly and willfully violated" state or federal laws in the selling or marketing of a weapon. Design and manufacturing defect lawsuits are also permitted when weapons are "used as intended.
Reference: Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act; Bill HR 1036 ; vote number 2003-124 on Apr 9, 2003

Voted YES on decreasing gun waiting period from 3 days to 1.

Vote to pass a bill requiring anyone who purchases a gun at a gun show to go through an instant background check which must be completed within 24 hours [instead of 72 hours].
Reference: Bill introduced by McCollum, R-FL; Bill HR 2122 ; vote number 1999-244 on Jun 18, 1999

No lawsuits against gun manufacturers.

Isakson co-sponsored against lawsuits against gun manufacturers

OnTheIssues.org explanation: This bill is a response to the success of tobacco lawsuits, which resulted in cigarette manufacturers paying billions to compensate for the long-term negative health effects of tobacco use. Gun manufacturers grew concerned that the same sort of lawsuit would be applied to guns.

OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY:

EXCERPTS FROM CONGRESSIONAL FINDINGS:

    The Congress finds the following:
  1. Citizens have a right, under the Second Amendment, to keep and bear arms.
  2. Lawsuits have been commenced against manufacturers & dealers of nondefective firearms, which seek money damages for the harm caused by the misuse of firearms by third parties, including criminals.
  3. The sale and use of firearms and ammunition is heavily regulated.
  4. Businesses that are engaged in commerce of firearms or ammunition are not, and should not be, liable for the harm caused by those who unlawfully misuse firearm products.
  5. The possibility of imposing liability on an entire industry for harm that is the sole responsibility of others is an abuse of the legal system.
  6. The liability actions commenced are based on theories without foundation in hundreds of years of the common law and American jurisprudence.
  7. An expansion of liability would constitute a deprivation of the rights guaranteed to citizens under the Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution.
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME: Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary; never called for a House vote.
Source: Firearms Heritage Protection Act (H.R.123) 01-HR0123 on Jan 3, 2001

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

Isakson 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

No United Nations taxation on firearms.

Isakson co-sponsored against United Nations taxation on firearms

OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: Prohibits appropriated funds from being used by any US official to promote any action by the UN which advocates the taxation of firearms or any other abrogation of rights under the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Condemns all proposals to tax or otherwise limit rights under the Second Amendment.

SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Rep. PAUL: This legislation prohibits taxpayer support of any UN actions that could in any way infringe on the Second Amendment. The bill also expresses the sense of Congress that proposals to tax, or otherwise limit, the right to keep and bear arms are "reprehensible and deserving of condemnation."

Over the past decade, the UN has waged a campaign to undermine the right to keep and bear arms, which is protected by the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called on members of the Security Council to "tackle" the proliferation and "easy availability" of small arms and light weapons. Just this June, the UN tried to "tackle" gun rights by sponsoring a "Week of Action Against Small Arms." Of course, by small arms, the UN really means all privately owned firearms.

Contrary to the UN propaganda, the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right and, according to the drafters of the Constitution, the guardian of every other right. Many victims of tyranny were first disarmed by their governments. If the UN is successful in implementing a global regime of gun control, then more innocent lives will be lost to public (and private) criminals. I would remind my colleagues that policies prohibiting the private ownership of firearms were strongly supported by tyrants such as Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tong. Global gun control is a recipe for global tyranny and a threat to the safety of all law-abiding persons.

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to House Committee on International Relations; never came to a vote.

Source: Right to Keep and Bear Arms Act (H.R.3125) 03-HR3125 on Sep 17, 2003

National cross-state standard for concealed carry.

Isakson 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

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

Isakson 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 10-NRA on Aug 11, 2010

Oppose the United Nations' Arms Trade Treaty.

Isakson 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
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

Ban gun registration & trigger lock law in Washington DC.

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