On The Campaign Trail, Obama Speaks From 'Pro-Gun' Script
The Republican National Committee is distributing a release questioning Barack Obamas commitment to gun rights, which he said he supports in many campaign speeches.
The RNC said that during debates, Obama claimed respect for gun rights.
Obama: "You've got the tradition of lawful gun ownership, that all of us saw, as we travel around rural parts of the country. And it is very important for many Americans to be able to hunt, fish, take their kids out, teach them how to shoot." (Sen. Barack Obama, 2008 Democrat Presidential Debate, Las Vegas, NV, 1/15/08)
But before running for president, Obama expressed support for banning many types of firearms:
On an Independent Voters Of Illinois Independent Precinct Organization 1996 General Candidate Questionnaire on 9/10/96, Obama was asked this question: "Do you support state legislation to ... ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns?
Obama's handwritten response: Yes.
Scholar John Lott, Jr. has said: "In fact, I knew Obama during the mid-1990s, and his answers to question on guns fit well with the Obama that I knew. Indeed, the first time I introduced myself to him he said, 'Oh, you are the gun guy.' I responded 'Yes, I guess so.' He simply responded that 'I don't believe that people should be able to own guns.'"
John R. Lott Jr., "Obama And Guns: Two Different Views," Fox News, www.foxnews.com, 4/7/08)
In 2003, Obama voted in support of SB1195, which, if passed, would have banned most of the privately held hunting shotguns, target rifles, and black powder rifles in the state.
If the ban was enacted, law enforcement officials would have been authorized to forcibly enter private homes to confiscate newly banned firearms.
Source: Illinois State Rifle Association, "ISRA Blasts Candidate Obama On His Record Of Hostility Toward Law-Abiding Firearm Owners," press release, 8/24/04)