According to many media reports, Indiana Governor Mike Pence has been chosen by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump to be his running mate. Pence served for 12 years as a member of the House of Representatives before winning the 2012 Indiana gubernatorial election.
Trump’s record on the Second Amendment includes support in 2000 for the ban on so-called “assault weapons” that Bill Clinton pushed through in 1994. This had been a weakness for Trump in the primary.
Governor Pence has been very strong on Second Amendment issues. In 2005, he voted to pass the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which halted lawsuits against firearms manufacturers. Gun-grabbers had sought to hold firearms manufacturers financially responsible for the criminal misuse of firearms, and used the threat of the lawsuits to force through policies that had been rejected by state legislatures and Congress.
Then-Representative Pence also supported efforts to roll back Washington, D.C.’s onerous laws, to pass concealed carry reciprocity, to allow veterans to register war trophies from overseas, to remove antiquated laws governing the sale of firearms, and to commend the NRA’s Eddie Eagle firearms safety program.
Giving up his Congressional seat to run for governor, Pence continued his strong pro-Second Amendment track record after winning the governorship, including signing S.B. 229 in 2014, which not only ended the risk of gun owners becoming accidental felons and prohibiting the use of tax dollars for gun buybacks. As governor of Indiana, Pence signed pro-hunting legislation as well.
In the wake of the terrorist attack on a Navy recruiting station in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Governor Pence allowed National Guard personnel to carry firearms for personal protection. Pence told Indiana lawmakers in the 2016 State of the State speech in front of the Indiana Legislature, “In the wake of the terrorist attack on a recruiting station in Chattanooga, Tennessee, I’m proud to say that Indiana was among the first states to allow our National Guard to carry firearms at all recruiting stations. Hoosiers know firearms in the hands of law abiding citizens–including our National Guard–makes our communities more safe not, less safe. Indiana will always defend the right to keep and bear arms.”
Governor Pence routinely received A and A+ ratings from the National Rifle Association’s Political Victory Fund in his campaigns. This past May, he addressed the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum during the NRA Annual Meetings in Louisville, Kentucky. He also addressed the NRA’s Celebration of American Values in 2010.
If personnel are policy, then Donald Trump has sent a very strong signal in support of the Second Amendment with the selection of Governor Pence.