Issue of Gun Control Between Obama and Romney


Gun issues were once again pulled to the forefront in Colorado with the summer Aurora movie theater shooting.


Although candidates and voters want to uphold the Second Amendment, outcry at the availability of assault weapons often clashes with gun use in other capacities.

“It tends to be a very polarized issue,” said Kelly Schick, a junior applied mathematics major. “Some say guns are good and shouldn’t be regulated. Others say guns should be highly regulated and essentially banned.”

Here is the breakdown of the presidential candidates’ stances on gun issues:
“We need a President who will enforce current laws, not create new ones that only serve to burden lawful gun owners,” said Romney at the National Rifle Association Convention April 13. “We need a president who will stand up for the rights of hunters, sportsmen and those seeking to protect their homes and their families.”

  • No additional laws to restrict Second Amendment rights
  • Expand access and opportunities for hunting and shooting
  • Defend the right of individuals to protect family, home, property
  • Enforce existing laws and punish criminals who misuse firearms

“We recognize the traditions of gun ownership that passed on from generation to generation -– that hunting and shooting are part of a cherished national heritage,” Obama said at the National Urban League Convention July 26. “But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals; that they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities.”

  • Enforce current laws pertaining to weapons
  • Strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System
  • Prevent criminals from purchasing firearms by checking record before gun sales
  • Prevent mentally unbalanced individuals from obtaining guns

What they did

2003: Increases Massachusetts’ gun licensing fee from $25 to $100
2004: Renewed Massachusetts assault weapons ban:

  • Extended term of firearm identification card and license to carry firearms from four to six years
  • 90-day grace period for holders of firearm ID cards and licenses to carry who have applied for renewal
  • Created Firearm License Review Board to review denied applications

2005: Designated May 7 as “The Right to Bear Arms Day”

2008: Supported renewal of the federal assault weapons ban during campaign

  • Took no action as president

2009: Signed the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009

  • An amendment added allowed concealed and loaded weapons in national parks

2009: Approved bill making it legal to bring guns in checked Amtrak baggage


  • Unloaded weapons must be declared 24 hours prior to travel
  • Weapons must be locked in hard-sided containers


Information provided by each candidate’s campaign office and public records.
Politics Beat Reporter Kate Winkle can be reached at