Gary Johnson on Gun Control

Libertarian presidential nominee; former Republican NM Governor


Banning assault weapons just criminalizes the owners

Q: You said there might be a role in restricting guns from terrorists or the mentally ill; but there have been specific proposals debated in the Senate, which it sounds like you reject-

JOHNSON: Well, nothing has come through Congress.

Q: So, do you have a view on what might work?

JOHNSON: No, I don't.

Q: What about assault-style weapons? Is there a constitutional right to that?

JOHNSON: Well, assault-style weapons, meaning semi-automatic-style rifles, you are talking about 30 million weapons, and if you do that, I daresay half the owners of those weapons are not going to turn them in, and now you're going to criminalize the ownership of those weapons.

Q: So, it sounds to me like you're saying, in theory, 'Sure,' but in fact there's no proposal that would meet your test. If there was something that would work.

JOHNSON: I don't want to for a second say that there might not be that proposal tomorrow.

Source: Washington Post joint interview of Johnson & Weld , Jul 7, 2016

Keep guns away from mentally ill & potential terrorists

Q: You said America would be safer if it was easier to buy guns and if more people carried them, especially out in public. [In light of] last week's worst mass shooting in our nation's history, how would making it easier to buy guns with minimum requirements, especially unnecessary military rifles, how is that making it easier for us?

JOHNSON: I don't think our position would be making it easier. We're not looking to roll back anything. But with regard to keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, with regard to keeping guns out of the hands of potential terrorists--Bill talked about establishing a thousand-person taskforce to potentially address that, a hot line. Look, we should be open to these discussions.

Q: And on the Orlando mass shooting?

JOHNSON: Look, the FBI came in contact with this guy three times. What transpired? Why wasn't this guy deprived of his guns?

Source: CNN Libertarian Town Hall: joint interview of Johnson & Weld , Jun 22, 2016

No-fly list is error-prone; don't use it to deny guns

Q: Do you agree with what is driving the sit-in by the congressmen right now [to force a vote on a bill to deny gun purchases from people on the "no-fly" terrorist-watch list]?

JOHNSON: No. I think that these lists are subject to error. And if you're one of those error members, and I am talking now about the terrorist list or the no-fly list, that has active members of Congress on both lists...

Q: But you know those are the very small minority of cases.

JOHNSON: Absolutely.

Q: And there is due process to deal with your being on a list. Right? Because the suggestion would be, you're wrongly on a list, we can deal with that. You get a gun when you're on one of those lists, now it's out of our hands.

JOHNSON: Believe me, these are really sensitive issues. All of these government lists are subject to error. And if you happen to be one of those, you may have your life adversely affected.

Source: CNN Libertarian Town Hall: joint interview of Johnson & Weld , Jun 22, 2016

Carrying guns reduces crime and mass shootings

[Johnson said with regards to the June 2016 Orlando mass shooting], "These atrocities have been happening in gun-free zones. If there were law-abiding citizens that were carrying weapons--I'm not saying they would lessen the impact of these horrible atro
Source: USA Today on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 16, 2016

Discuss keeping guns away from mentally ill

Johnson says he has a "nuanced" view of the Libertarian Party platform plank, which opposes "all laws at any level of government" restricting guns. "We should be open to a discussion on keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill," he says. "I don't know how that manifests itself, but I just want to let people know I have an open mind about how government might interject itself in a lot of the problems we have." Over the past five years, he himself˙has purchased two guns for self-protection.
Source: USA Today on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 16, 2016

Against denying guns to people on government no-fly list

Gary Johnson has come out against proposals to deny Americans on the no-fly list from purchasing guns on the grounds of due process. "Gov. Johnson believes Second Amendment rights are too fundamental to be denied without due process, and being put on a list arbitrarily by the government is certainly not due process," the Johnson campaign told The Daily Caller.

His campaign pointed to a recent blog post by the ACLU titled, "Until the No Fly List is Fixed, It Shouldn't Be Used To Restrict People's Freedoms." The ACLU is currently in a legal challenge against the no fly list. They say it is "unconstitutionally vague, and innocent people are blacklisted without a fair process to correct government error."

President Obama and Hillary Clinton have come out in favor of barring people from the no fly list and terror watch list from purchasing weapons. Donald Trump said that he is going to meet with the NRA to discuss these proposals.

Source: The Daily Caller on 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 15, 2016

Concealed carry leads to less overall gun violence

After a summer of mass shootings, many gun control advocates felt that enough was enough and stronger laws must be adopted to stop gun violence, including a ban on automatic weapons. But not Gary Johnson. "How do you stem gun violence? I think that concealed carry was a way to do that," he said. "I go back to 1994 when I was running for governor of New Mexico and I believed that supporting conceal and carry would lead to less overall gun violence. And I think that has actually panned itself out."

New Mexico currently has some of the nation's most pro-gun laws, in part thanks to Johnson's adamant refusal as governor to sign bills putting more restrictions on guns. Today, New Mexico ranks 13th in the nation in gun murders in relation to population, with 3.29 per 100,000 people, according to FBI statistics.

Source: Raycom News Network, "Johnson talks guns" , Jan 30, 2013

Supports gun ownership rights

I ran my first campaign, as well as my reelection campaign, in a unique way--never mentioning my opponent in print, radio or TV. I stayed 100% on message; and it worked.

My message was a simple: individual freedom, individual rights and less government run with a common-sense business approach.

I opposed public funding of abortion and federal land management control, and I supported lower taxes, term limits, tough criminal sentences, gun ownership rights, right-to-work legislation and public funds for school vouchers.

I wanted to make certain that liberties and freedoms are equally available to all, with a limited government which basically ensures that no one is harmful to anyone else.

Source: Seven Principles, by Gary Johnson, p. 24 , Aug 1, 2012

Laws regarding guns are ineffective

Q: Where do you stand on gun control?

A: I'm one of those who believe the bumper sticker: If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns. The first people who are going to be in line to turn in their guns are law-abiding citizens. Criminals are going to be left with guns. I believe that concealed carry is a way of reducing gun violence.

Q: Do you carry a gun?

A: I don't, and I don't own a gun, but I'd still just as soon have the concealed carry law. If the guy who is going to hold up a car knows there is the possibility of a concealed weapon, he may think twice. We don't have that law here.

Q: But the statistics show that people don't use guns to stop crime. They use them to hurt themselves or innocent people.

A: Yeah, but there is deterrence in the legality of guns. It's also part of the Constitution.

Q: The NRA disagrees with any limits. Do you?

A: I don't believe the laws regarding guns are effective. We're allowed to bear arms. It's part of a free society.

Source: David Sheff interview in Playboy Magazine , May 2, 2011

Other candidates on Gun Control: Gary Johnson on other issues:
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Gov.Bill Weld(L-MA,VP)
Dr.Jill Stein(G-MA)
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Page last updated: Oct 29, 2016