Kirsten Gillibrand on Gun Control

Democratic Senator (NY); Democratic Candidate for President (withdrawn)


Machine gun registration is framework for assault weapons

what you want to use is the current law that has placed different types of weapons, required registration, like machine guns. We did this in the past, and we made machine guns illegal. And, if you owned them, they had to be registered, and they had to have certain kinds of fingerprinting for anyone who owns it. So you can use the same framework.
Source: ABC This Week interview for Democratic 2020 Veepstakes , Aug 18, 2019

Senate would pass gun laws if allowed to vote

I think things are changing since kids have been marching and demanding action. You've seen a level of advocacy that I've never seen before. If Mitch McConnell would have the courage to call us back into Washington to vote, we would pass the universal background checks bill and we would pass the bill that I wrote which is anti-gun trafficking which the last time we voted on it got fifty-eight votes. We only needed sixty. I believe we have the momentum behind us to pass that as well.
Source: CBS Face the Nation interview for Democratic 2020 Veepstakes , Aug 11, 2019

NRA is the worst organization in America

[Fox News host Chris] Wallace drilled down on Gillibrand's one-time A-rating from the National Rifle Association -- a group she called the "worst organization in America" on Sunday night. When asked if her shift on the issue was political opportunism, Gillibrand said that it was about "realizing that not every part of this country is like my rural, upstate New York district. We have to look beyond our own backyard," she said. "We must care about others."
Source: Politico.com on Fox News Town Halls with Chris Wallace , Jun 2, 2019

Ban bump stocks; reduce lobbying power of NRA

An audience member asked Ms. Gillibrand what she would do to combat gun violence that previous presidents had not. The three points she suggested were longstanding goals of gun control advocates: universal background checks; a ban on bump stocks, high-capacity magazines and military-style firearms; and a federal law against gun trafficking. Ms. Gillibrand argued that she could achieve them by reducing the political power of the N.R.A.

She said she would do so by creating public financing for campaigns, though the N.R.A.'s power is not quite so simple: It comes not only from direct donations to candidates but also from its ability to mobilize a reliable base of single-issue voters. Ms. Gillibrand did not hold back in denouncing the N.R.A., which she called "the worst organization in this country."

Source: New York Times on 2019-2020 Fox News Town Halls , Jun 2, 2019

Supports stricter laws now; didn't when in the House

As a representative, she was an advocate for gun rights and had an 'A' rating from the NRA. But since joining the Senate, she has made an about-face and is now a vocal proponent of stricter gun control laws.
Source: Axios.com "What you need to know about 2020" , May 7, 2019

2008: signed amicus brief to overturn DC handgun ban

Gillibrand fought vigorously in defense of gun rights, including the right to own handguns. She signed an amicus brief that argued for overturning a handgun ban in Washington, DC, and that private gun ownership was a guaranteed right unconnected to service in a militia.

At the same time, Gillibrand co-sponsored legislation that would revoke the city's gun control laws. The core of the proposed bill made it so that Washington, DC would not be allowed to pass any laws restricting firearm usage and ownership that exceed existing federal rules, repealed the city's ban on semi-automatic weapons, most registration requirements for possession of firearms and a ban on owning ammunition.

Gillibrand's support for such measures was key in her earning the backing of the NRA in her 2008 bid for re-election. Gillibrand boasted of the "A" rating on her House website.

Source: CNN KFile, "Gillibrand overturning DC handgun ban" , Mar 26, 2019

2009: Fight gun violence; 2010: "F" rating from NRA

[As a Representative, she supported anti-gun control measures.] After her appointment to the Senate in January 2009, Gillibrand moved away from her record on gun rights. "There's a very big difference between making sure hunters can hunt in upstate New York, and fighting against gun violence," Gillibrand said. "And those are values and views that I've always held--that we do need to fight against gun violence. We do need to keep guns out of the hands of criminals." When a 2009 vote came on an amendment to ease firearm restrictions in DC, Gillibrand voted against it. By September 2010, her NRA grade changed from an "A" to an "F."

Speaking at the launch of her presidential campaign, Gillibrand singled out the National Rifle Association as an example of special interests. "Right now, special interests are displacing the voices of the people of this country," Gillibrand said. "The NRA stops popular, common sense gun reform, while stray bullets kill children in our communities."

Source: CNN KFile, "Gillibrand overturning DC handgun ban" , Mar 26, 2019

2006: "A" rating from NRA; 2019: apologizes

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand apologized amidst a broader mea culpa over her formerly conservative views on "The Rachel Maddow Show."

Gillibrand announced she was running for president. Formerly a U.S. representative in upstate New York before being appointed to the Senate, Gillibrand has established herself as one of the chamber's most liberal members and is forming her campaign in part around her advocacy for women.

However, Maddow didn't let her off the hook for her old views on issues like guns and immigration, discussing what she called Gillibrand's "conservative bona fides" in unseating a GOP congressman in New York in 2006. Gillibrand had an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association.

"Senator Gillibrand has had a transformation. She has changed a great deal on policy in the decade since she was a card-carrying member of the Blue Dog Democrats," Maddow said. "She has been on her own party's right. She has been on her own party's left."

Source: Washington Free Beacon on 2020 presidential hopefuls , Jan 16, 2019

Ban high-capacity magazines; close gun-show loophole

Source: PBS News hour on 2020 Presidential hopefuls , Jan 16, 2019

Embarrassed at previous NRA "A" rating; now rated "F"

During her tenure in the House, Gillibrand was part of the Blue Dog Coalition [of conservative Democrats]. She advertised on her website that she had a 100-percent voting record with the National Rifle Association.

She was confronted with her ideological shift during a 60 Minutes segment last February, explaining how she went from having an "A" rating from the NRA to an "F."

"I went down to Brooklyn to meet with families who had suffered from gun violence in their communities," Gillibrand recounted. "And you immediately experience the feeling that I couldn't have been more wrong--you know, I only had the lens of upstate New York." She went on to say that she was "embarrassed" because she had in fact lived in New York City for a decade.

Source: Washington Examiner on 2020 Presidential Hopefuls , Jan 15, 2019

Inaction on mass shootings due to greed of NRA & gunmakers

After the Thousand Oaks Shooting at a country music bar, Gillibrand said, "It is extraordinarily heartbreaking and it's infuriating because Congress literally has done nothing in the face of gun death after gun death in communities all across this country. And it is because of the greed: the greed of the gun manufacturers and the greed of the NRA."

Still, the pro-gun reform lawmaker offered some hope for future reform based on Tuesday's elections. "I do believe things are changing. And the reason why I believe that is because we had candidates run in this last election who ran on this issue," she said.

Still, Gillibrand foresaw more work ahead of Democrats to pass stricter gun laws. "We have to obviously flip the Senate to be able to do whatever the House could do, that common-sense reform," Gillibrand said. "But I think the country is in a place where we will fight this until we get it done because you need these basic reforms."

Source: Hollywood Reporter on 2018 New York Senate race , Nov 8, 2018

Owns guns, which she keeps unloaded under the bed

One day I ate lunch in the Senate dining room with a reporter from a Long Island newspaper. He says nonchalantly, "You own guns, right?"

I said, "Yes."

"Where do you keep them?" he asked.

Without pausing to think why he was asking the question or whether I should answer it, I said, "Under the bed."

Huge mistake. Our exchange about guns became his whole story. It made the front page of Newsday, and that lead to headlines across the state. I was so frustrated with myself for not answering more thoughtfully--and for answering at all. The topic was irrelevant to our interview. Besides, what was I thinking, telling the world, without any context, that I kept guns under my bed? One had been a raffle prize, the other a gift. Both were still locked up in their original cases. Neither Jonathan nor I had ever loaded either.

Source: Off the Sidelines, by Kirsten Gillibrand, p.106-7 , Sep 9, 2014

Shifted to left because "I fight for my constituents"

Gillibrand explained her sharp shift to the political left--particularly on gun control and immigration--since Gov. Paterson appointed her to the statewide seat last year. "One thing that's clear is that I always fight for my constituents," she said; noting that she's now focused on keeping illegal guns out of cities.

DioGuardi said voters could get "whiplash" watching Gillibrand's policy changes. "She sounded like Annie Oakley, and now she's somebody different," DioGuardi said.

Source: New York Post coverage of 2010 N. Y. Senate debate , Oct 16, 2010

Track data on illegal gun traffickers

On the day Gillibrand was appointed to the Senate, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg attacked her opposition to gun control: "She has voted to keep critical data needed to track illegal gun traffickers from law enforcement, has voted to tie the hands of the ATF, and has also voted to protect dealers who sell guns illegally."

But all that changed when Hillary's seat opened up, and she shamelessly promoted herself as a candidate to fill it. Within days Gillibrand's raw ambition had trumped her stated principles, and she began flipping on all kinds of critical issues. As a new senator, Gillibrand was transformed from a rabid opponent of gun control--with a 100% rating from the NRA--to a cosponsor of gun control legislation. In 2007, she had sponsored a bill to delete background check information after 24 hours; now she suddenly voted to repeal her very own bill.

Does she still keep two guns under her bed, as she claimed during the campaign? She hasn't said.

Source: Take Back America, by Dick Morris, p.183 , Apr 13, 2010

Earned high rating from the National Rifle Association

Her politics, perhaps reflecting her conservative district, cannot be easily charted along a left-right axis. She earned a high rating from the National Rifle Association and opposed efforts to extend state drivers' licenses to illegal immigrants. At the same time, she favors abortion rights.

Gillibrand moved to bridge the political & cultural divide, shunning political labels and even embracing Second Amendment gun rights and other positions that placed her outside the mainstream of her party.

Source: Michael Powell and Raymond Hernandez, New York Times , Jan 23, 2009

Close the Gun Show Loophole; restrict show sales.

Gillibrand signed H.R.2324& S.843

    Makes it unlawful for any person to operate a gun show unless such person:
  1. has attained 21 years of age;
  2. is not prohibited from transporting, shipping, or receiving firearms and has not violated any federal firearms requirements;
  3. has registered with the Attorney General as a gun show operator and has provided a photograph and fingerprints;
  4. has not concealed material information nor made false statements in connection with a gun show operator registration; and
  5. notifies the Attorney General of the date, time, and duration of a gun show not later than 30 days before the commencement of such show and verifies the identity of each vendor at the gun show.
Imposes recordkeeping requirements on gun show operators and criminal penalties for failure to register as a gun show operator and maintain required records. Increases criminal penalties for serious recordkeeping violations and violations of criminal background check requirements. Authorizes the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to hire additional investigators to carry out inspections of gun shows.
Source: Gun Show Loophole Closing Act 09-HR2324 on May 7, 2009

Rated F by the NRA, indicating a pro-gun control voting record.

Gillibrand scores F 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

Ban large-capacity ammunition.

Gillibrand co-sponsored Large Capacity Ammunition Feeding Device Act

Amends the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act

Source: H.R.138&S.33 13-S0033 on Jan 22, 2013

Co-sponsored background check for every firearm sale.

Gillibrand co-sponsored the Bipartisan Background Checks Act

H.R.8: To require a background check for every firearm sale. This Act may be cited as the `Background Check Expansion Act`.