In an interview on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, Hillary Clinton refused to say whether or not the right to bear arms is a constitutional right.
Stephanopoulos asked, “Let’s talk about the Second Amendment. As you know, Donald Trump has also been out on the stump, talking about the Second Amendment, saying you want to abolish the Second Amendment. I know you reject that, but I want to ask you a specific question: Do you believe that an individual’s right to bear arms is a constitutional right — that it’s not linked to service in a militia?”
Clinton replied, “I think that for most of our history there was a nuanced reading of the Second Amendment until the decision by the late Justice Scalia, and there was no argument until then that localities and states and the federal government had a right, as we do with every amendment, to impose reasonable regulations. So I believe we can have common sense gun safety measures, consistent with the Second Amendment. And in fact, what I have proposed is supported by 90 percent of the American people and more than 75 percent of responsible gun owners.”
“So that is exactly what I think is constitutionally permittable and again, you have Donald Trump just making outright fabrications, accusing me of something that is absolutely untrue. But I’m going to continue to speak out for comprehensive background checks, closing the gun show loophole, closing the online loophole, closing the so-called Charleston loophole, reversing the bill that Senator Sanders voted for and I voted against giving immunity from liability to gun makers and sellers. I think all of that can and should be done and it is, in my view, consistent with the Constitution.”
Stephanopoulos replied, “And the Heller decision also does say there can be some restrictions, but that’s not what I asked, I said do you believe that their conclusion, that an individual’s right to bear arms is a constitutional right?”
“If it is a constitutional right, then it, like every other constitutional right, is subject to reasonable regulations,” Clinton replied. “And what people have done with that decision is to take it as far as they possibly can and reject what has been our history from the very beginning of the republic, where some of the earliest laws that were passed were about firearms. So I think it’s important to recognize that reasonable people can say, as I do, responsible gun owners have a right, I have no objection to that, but the rest of the American public has a right to require certain kinds of regulatory responsible actions to protect everyone else.”