The 2016 election is only a few days away and while everyone knows the presidential candidates’ stances on guns, for many the state elections, which can cause affect laws in each individual state just as much, if not more than the presidency. We here at USA Firearm Training believe that a well-informed populace is a strong one, so we are going to be sharing with you the Senate race in Florida and the stances of the candidates on guns, to give each of you a better idea where they stand.
Florida’s 2016 Senate race pits incumbent Republican Senator Marco Rubio against Democrat Patrick Murphy.
Rubio is currently finishing his first term as a U.S. Senator, after spending 8 years in the Florida House of Representatives. While Murphy is currently concluding his 2nd consecutive term as the representative of Florida’s 18th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Currently, Rubio leads in an average of the polls by 5 points.
To give you an idea of where these candidates stand on the issues of guns and gun control, let’s take a look at their historical records and statements on the matter.
On the danger of guns falling into the hands of the wrong people at gun shows, Rubio is quoted as saying. “The Second Amendment is not an option. It is not a suggestion. It is a constitutional right of every American to be able to protect themselves and their families. Criminals don’t buy their guns from a gun show. They don’t buy their guns from a collector. And they don’t buy their guns from a gun store. They steal them. They get them on the black market. ISIS and terrorists do not get their guns from a gun show. The only people that follow the law are law-abiding people. Criminals by definition ignore the law. The criminals are going to ignore it because they are criminals. The real issue is why are they committing the violence? You can’t have a strong country without strong people, you cannot have strong people without strong values, and you cannot have strong values without strong families and the institutions in this country that defend and support those families.”
A reporter asked Senator Rubio: “You say you have a concealed weapons permit; do you carry a weapon?”
Rubio’s response is as follows: “I do not, but I have a concealed weapon permit. I don’t [carry] because I spend most of my time in airports and in the Capitol where you’re not allowed to necessarily carry those around. But let me say this to you: all Americans have a right to that–all Americans have a Second-Amendment right to buy a firearm, to possess one for both self-defense and for sport. And we should be very careful about anything that infringes on that. Now, if someone has an effective way to protect that right and to prevent criminals from getting access to weapons, certainly I think everyone is open to that.”
On the 2nd Amendment, Rubio stated: “Like the rest of our Constitution, I believe the 2nd Amendment is a cornerstone of our democracy. I believe the right to bear arms is a constitutionally protected right. The right of citizens to defend themselves by bearing arms is a fundamental human right that should be protected.”
Rubio is Rated at a B+ by the NRA, meaning that he is a generally pro-gun candidate, but may have opposed some pro-gun reform in the past.
Patrick Murphy’s gun control stance can best be explained by the candidate himself in a letter written to his constituents after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando that left 49 people dead.
Congressman Murphy’s letter reads as follows:
“I’ve had enough. How much longer will Americans have to wait for Congress to act? How many more mass shootings must happen before Congress puts partisan politics aside and passes commonsense measures that the majority of Americans agree on to curb gun violence?
Orlando, our state, and the LGBT community are still reeling from this weekend’s senseless tragedy, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. 49 innocent people are dead and 53 are wounded, many of them Hispanic and LGBT. Our thoughts and prayers are insufficient. Floridians — and all Americans — expect their elected leaders to work to end the epidemic of gun violence. To keep our country and all its citizens safe we need to:
- Close the terrorist gun loophole — suspected terrorists shouldn’t be able to legally purchase guns
- Mandate background checks for all gun purchases
- Ban high-capacity magazines and keep assault weapons out of the hands of dangerous people
It’s the time for action, and if I were in the Senate, I would proudly stand with Senator Chris Murphy and Senate Democrats in support of their filibuster to force Mitch McConnell’s hand on this critical issue.
Early this morning, after almost 15 hours, their courageous filibuster concluded with a promise from the GOP to hold a vote on background checks and the terrorist loophole. It’s the very least they can do in the wake of Orlando.”
Murphy has earned an F rating by the NRA indicating a staunch anti-gun voting record.