As the 2016 presidential race wears on, and now that the Super Tuesday results have been tallied, it’s a good time to take a look at this story from Newsweek that goes over the Second Amendment track records of all the Republican candidates, and their personal backgrounds with firearms.
Trump has made many claims about guns in the media, from the outlandish “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Ave. and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,” to telling reporters he owns “a gun” and has a concealed carry permit in New York, where they are notoriously difficult to obtain. He also told reporters he carries in New York, “sometimes a lot. I like to be unpredictable, so people don’t know if I’m carrying.”
In an interview last month with Field & Stream, Trump said he has hunted, but now doesn’t “devote much time to it, because I’m so busy with everything.”
Last summer, when photos of sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump posing with big-game trophies including a cheetah, elephant, and buffalo became public, Trump told TMX that he wasn’t a “believer in hunting” and that he was “surprised they like it.”
Trump says he is an NRA member and called gun-free zones a “catastrophe” and a “feeding frenzy for sick people.”
Before he was a candidate, Trump called out Republicans who “walk the NRA line” and refuse even limited restrictions on gun laws, in his 2000 book, “The America We Deserve.” He also wrote that he supported the ban on assault weapons and a longer waiting period to purchase a gun.
**Marco Rubio **
Rubio has been outspoken about his gun ownership, telling the Tampa Bay Times he bought his first gun, a Taurus .357 Magnum revolver, in 2010, to defend his family. He trained for his CCW permit in 2009 and says he shoots with his wife at the range two or three times a year.
In his role as speaker of the Florida House, trouble arose with a bill allowing employees to leave firearms in their cars while they went into the workplace. In a battle between the gun industry and businesses, the measure was defeated in 2007, tainting the image of Republicans in the eyes of the NRA. But it passed the next year. After Rubio left office, Marion Hammer, then the NRA’s Florida lobbyist and a former president, called him “a big disappointment,” who “talked the talk,” but “didn’t walk the walk.”
Ted Cruz is certainly a gun advocate, opening his speech at the 2015 NRA Annual Meeting by saying, “God bless the NRA.”
Huffington Post reported that he owns a 12-gauge Beretta Silver Pigeon shotgun for bird hunting and purchased his first hunting license in 2006. He has recounted how he bought his wife a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver to keep at her bedside when she’s alone in their Texas home. It’s known he often goes to the range and has visited several on the campaign trail.
Cruz has earned an A+ rating from the NRA, and was filmed last year cooking bacon by wrapping it around the barrel of an AR and firing a few rounds. https://www.range365.com/presidential-hopeful-makes-bacon-msr-barrel
The Ohio governor says on his website that he’s “a gun owner himself” and “a strong supporter of the right to bear arms.” But he hasn’t has many publicity photos taken with firearms.
His stance on guns has been “mixed” since he was first elected to the state Senate in 1978. He voted for the 1994 federal assault weapons ban, which earned him a failing grade from the NRA at the time.
During his time as governor, however, he has worked to earn a positive vote from the NRA.