Gun Laws & Legislation

Jim Gilmore: Preserving Our Second Amendment Rights

Jim Gilmore Former Governor of Virginia
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“Every state and the District of Columbia will be required to honor the concealed carry permits issued by every other state and DC. There will never be an assault weapons ban during my presidency. As the Constitution says, our Second Amendment rights shall not be infringed.”

I am committed to the individual right to keep and bear arms by every American who has not forfeited that right by criminal conviction or other action. The right own, carry and keep a gun is under relentless attack and pressure. As President I will be committed to standing up for our rights under the Second Amendment.

There is far too much violent crime in America. But that fact does not arise from the right of Americans to keep and bear arms.

The real reasons for violent crime – especially crimes in which guns are used – is that it’s easier for politicians to huff and puff about the need for more gun control rather than deal with the real problems. You can see that in cities such as Baltimore and New York where the mayors scorn the police and don’t want to face the facts that are causing their people to suffer from so much crime.

We know what the real problems are: the need for easier involuntary commitment of the dangerous mentally ill, the dangers brought about by Obama’s open borders policy and surer appropriate punishment of criminals.

I know these are the real issues because I am a member of the National Rifle Association’s Board of Directors. I have defended Americans’ Second Amendment rights throughout my career and will continue to do so because the Second Amendment is just as important as any of the other rights preserved for us by the Constitution.

Every tragedy such as the Newtown school massacre, the killings in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater and the mass murders at Virginia Tech have one thing in common. They were all perpetrated by people who were mentally ill and dangerous to everyone around them. That problem isn’t going to be solved by gun control and background checks.

For decades, the states have made it harder and harder to involuntarily commit the dangerous mentally ill. Psychiatrists and psychologists owe it to our society to devise effective tests, and states need to adopt better laws, to ensure that to the greatest extent possible the dangerous mentally ill can be identified and involuntarily committed for however long they remain a danger.

We need to do a lot more to protect our children in schools. Not every teacher should be required to be armed, but those who choose to be should be specially trained with Tasers and firearms. We need to put ballistic-resistant doors and locks on classrooms and protect first-floor windows with ballistic glass. Teachers need to have the training and means to save children’s lives until police arrive to deal with a shooter.

Gun-free zones serve only to tell potential murderers and terrorists where their most vulnerable victims can be found. We need to arm our off-base military, all of whom are terrorist targets. Failing to do so is irresponsible and puts our troops at risk.

Gun control advocates need to face the fact that their efforts will hurt far more than they help. And our minority community should realize that, as Justice Scalia’s brilliant opinion in DC v Heller showed, the American gun control movement began in post-Civil War years when southern states chose to prevent blacks from owning firearms. It was wrong then and it’s wrong now.

Gun control is not the answer to our society’s problems. Effective methods of institutionalizing the dangerously mentally ill, protecting our school children and ensuring the enforcement of our laws to imprison criminals and protect our borders are the answer.


Jim Gilmore served as the 68th governor of Virginia from 1998 to 2002. Gilmore gained national prominence during his campaign and governorship by advocating conservative policies that directly addressed the daily concerns of working men and women in every Virginia community.
Gilmore’s legacy of nearly two decades of public service is highlighted by significant policy work on the major issues of taxation, homeland security and by a determined focus to bring people together from different beliefs and backgrounds.