Mitt Romney has become more conservative regarding gun control over his political career. While he supported more thorough checks and an assault weapons ban as governor of Massachusetts, he now feels that the current laws are sufficient to prevent gun violence and weaken the illegal arms trade.
Romney, pressed on the gun control issue in an NBC news interview during a visit to London, said changing laws won't "make all bad things go away."
"I don't happen to believe that America needs new gun laws. A lot of what this ... young man did was clearly against the law. But the fact that it was against the law did not prevent it from happening," he said.
"Well, actually the law that we signed in Massachusetts was a combination of efforts both on the part of those that were for additional gun rights and those that opposed gun rights, and they came together and made some changes that provided, I think, a better environment for both, and that’s why both sides came to celebrate the signing of the bill. Where there are opportunities for people of reasonable minds to come together and find common ground, that’s the kind of legislation I like. The idea of one party jamming through something over the objection of the other tends to divide the nation, not make us a more safe and prosperous place. So if there’s common ground, why I’m always willing to have that kind of a conversation."
Negotiators at the United Nations are working to put final touches on a treaty cracking down on the global, $60 billion business of illicit trading in small arms, a move aimed at curbing violence in some of the most troubled corners of the world.
...Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney hasn't specifically addressed the treaty but broadly opposes what he sees as overreach by the U.N. on many fronts.
"I'm willing to talk there. I'm not willing to give the United Nations sovereignty in any way or form" over U.S. citizens or law, Romney said at a July 18 town hall in Bowling Green, Ohio.
At its annual convention this weekend, such leaders as Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, former presidential nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former presidential hopeful Mitt Romney are speaking to 60,000-plus gun-rights advocates gathered in Phoenix, Arizona...
"No constitutional protection is more often ignored, distorted or disdained than the individual right to keep and bear arms," Romney will say, according to draft remarks released by his political operation.
Romney joined the National Rifle Association in 2006, a few months before launching his first presidential bid. “I’m a member of the NRA and believe firmly in the right to bear arms,” he said in 2007.
Pressed by NBC’s Tim Russert on the issue that year, he said, “I support Second Amendment rights, but I don’t line up 100 percent with the NRA. They take some positions that are different than mine.” He continued to support the assault-weapons ban, reaffirming that position in a 2008 debate.
But when he started running for president in 2007, Romney opposed a waiting period to buy guns...
Romney appeared on NBC's Meet the Press, saying technology had changed: The Internet now lets you do background checks in moments.
"The original [Brady Bill] had a waiting period because it took a long time to check on people's backgrounds. Today, we can check instantly on backgrounds. I don't want to cause a waiting period that's not necessary based upon today's technology," Romney said.
In 2004, both the national assault weapons ban and a state-wide ban on assault weapons expired. The state legislature of Massachusetts passed an assault weapons ban for the state which mirrored that national law with some additional provisions... When speaking at the signing of the legislation into law, Governor Romney stated the following: "Deadly assault weapons have no place in Massachusetts. These guns are not made for recreation or self-defense. They are instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people."
While running for Senate in Massachusetts in 1994, Romney supported background checks and a ban on some assault weapons. “That’s not going to make me the hero of the NRA,” he said. Running for governor in 2002, he said, “We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts — I support them. I won’t chip away at them. I believe they help protect us, and provide for our safety.”
He believes in the safe and responsible ownership and use of firearms and the right to lawfully manufacture and sell firearms and ammunition. He also recognizes the extraordinary number of jobs and other economic benefits that are produced by hunting, recreational shooting, and the firearms and ammunition industry, not the least of which is to fund wildlife and habitat conservation.
Mitt will enforce the laws already on the books and punish, to the fullest extent of the law, criminals who misuse firearms to commit crimes. But he does not support adding more laws and regulations that do nothing more than burden law-abiding citizens while being ignored by criminals. Mitt will also provide law enforcement with the proper and effective resources they need to deter, apprehend, and punish criminals.