Thursday, August 21, 2008


On the Second Amendment,
Don’t Believe Obama!

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But his real record, based on votes taken, political associations, and long standing positions, shows that Barack Obama is a serious threat to Second Amendment liberties. Don’t listen to his campaign rhetoric! Look instead to what he has said and done during his entire political career.


FACT: Barack Obama voted against the confirmation of 2 of the 5 Justices that affirmed an individual right to keep and bear arms.

FACT: Barack Obama voted to allow reckless lawsuits designed to bankrupt the firearms industry.1

FACT: Barack Obama wants to re-impose the failed and discredited Clinton Gun Ban.15

FACT: Barack Obama voted to ban almost all rifle ammunition commonly used for hunting and sport shooting.3

FACT: Barack Obama has endorsed a 500% increase in the federal excise tax on firearms and ammunition.9

FACT: Barack Obama has endorsed a complete ban on handgun ownership.2

FACT: Barack Obama supports local gun bans in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and other cities.4

FACT: Barack Obama voted to uphold local gun bans and the criminal prosecution of people
who use firearms in self-defense.5

FACT: Barack Obama supports gun owner licensing and gun registration.6

FACT: Barack Obama refused to sign a friend-of-the-court Brief in support of individual Second Amendment rights in the Heller case.

FACT: Barack Obama opposes Right to Carry laws.7

FACT: Barack Obama was a member of the Board of Directors of the Joyce Foundation, the leading source of funds for anti-gun organizations and “research.”8

FACT: Barack Obama supported a proposal to ban gun stores within 5 miles of a school or park, which would eliminate almost every gun store in America.9

FACT: Barack Obama voted not to notify gun owners when the state of Illinois did records searches on them.10

FACT: Barack Obama voted against a measure to lower the Firearms Owners Identification card age minimum from 21 to 18, a measure designed to assist young people in the military.11

FACT: Barack Obama favors a ban on standard capacity magazines.12

FACT: Barack Obama supports mandatory micro-stamping.13

FACT: Barack Obama supports mandatory waiting periods.2

FACT: Barack Obama supports repeal of the Tiahrt Amendment, which prohibits information on gun traces collected by the BATFE from being used in reckless lawsuits against firearm dealers and manufacturers.14

FACT: Barack Obama supports one-gun-a-month handgun purchase restrictions.16

FACT: Barack Obama supports a ban on inexpensive handguns.9

FACT: Barack Obama supports a ban on the resale of police issued firearms, even if the money is going to police departments for replacement equipment.9

FACT: Barack Obama supports mandatory firearm training requirements for all gun owners and a ban on gun ownership for persons under the age of 21.9

1. United States Senate, S. 397, vote number 219, July 2, 2005. (

2. Independent Voters of Illinois/Independent Precinct Organization general candidate questionnaire, Sept. 9, 1996. The responses on this survey were described in “Obama had greater role on liberal survey,” Politico, March 31, 20087. (

3. United States Senate, S. 397, vote number 217, Kennedy amendment July 2, 2005. (

4. David Wright, Ursula Fahy and Sunlen Miller, "Obama: 'Common Sense Regulation' On Gun Owners' Rights," ABC News' "Political Radar" Blog,, 2/15/08. (

5. Illinois Senate, March 25, 2004 SB 2165, vote 20.

6. In the Illinois Senate, Obama sponsored SB-1136, which would have amended Illinois licensing laws by increasing the requirements for the Illinois Firearm Owners Identification card. When asked about registration during the Nevada Democratic debate on January 17, 2008, Obama did not oppose it, but simply stated, “I don’t think that we can get that done.” (

7. “Candidates' gun control positions may figure in Pa. vote,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Wednesday, April 2, 2008, and "Keyes, Obama Are Far Apart On Guns," Chicago Tribune, 9/15/04. (

8. 1998 Joyce Foundation Annual Report, p. 7.

9. “Obama and Gun Control,” The Volokh Conspiracy, taken from the Chicago Defender, Dec. 13, 1999. (

10. Illinois Senate, May 5, 2002, SB 1936 Con., vote 26.

11. Illinois Senate, March 25, 2003, SB 2163, vote 18.

12. “Clinton, Edwards, Obama on gun control,” Radio Iowa, Sunday, April 22, 2007. (

13. Chicago Tribune blogs, “Barack Obama: NIU Shootings call for action,” February 15, 2008, (

14. Barack Obama campaign website: “As president, Barack Obama would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment . . .” (

15. Illinois Senate Debate #3: Barack Obama vs. Alan Keyes ( and Oct 21, 2004.

16. Illinois Senate, May 16, 2003, HB 2579, vote 34.

The presidential primary season is finally over, and it is now time for gun owners to take a careful look at just where apparent nominee Barack Obama stands on issues related to the Second Amendment. During the primaries, Obama tried to hide behind vague statements of support for “sportsmen” or unfounded claims of general support for the right to keep and bear arms.


Obama Supports D.C. Gun Ban

Obama on registering the nation's gun owners

Concealed Carry

"...I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry," Obama said. Chicago Tribune, April 27, 2004

Ammunition Retrictions -- "micro-stamping"

"There was a discussion today about a law that has just passed in California that allows micro-tracing of bullets that have been discharged in a crime so that they can immediately be traced," he said. "This is something that California has passed over the strong objections of the NRA…That's the kind of common sense gun law that gun owners as well as victims of gun violence can get behind." Barack Obama, Feb. 15, 2008 Baltimore Feb. 15, 2008

Local Gun Bans

"I think that local jurisdictions have the capacity to institute their own gun laws…The City of Chicago has gun laws, as does Washington, D.C.," he said. Barack Obama, Feb. 15, 2008 Baltimore

Licensing and Registering gun owners

Q: When you were in the state senate, you talked about licensing and registering gun owners. Would you do that as president?

A: I don't think that we can get that done.

2008 Democratic debate in Las Vegas Jan 15, 2008

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Saturday, August 02, 2008


State wants faulty guns replaced

Dan Kane, Staff Writer

State prison officials want gunmaker Smith & Wesson to replace hundreds of revolvers after dozens failed to shoot and the barrels broke off of others upon firing in training exercises.

The company has witnessed the problems firsthand. Last month, three company representatives met with state prison officials at a shooting range near Smithfield to test about three dozen revolvers.

Four of the revolvers didn't fire when a state weapons instructor pulled the trigger. The cylinder that holds the ammunition jammed on two revolvers. Then, the barrel broke off as the instructor fired a different model with a longer barrel, just as 14 others had in practice shoots dating back to 2003.

"In one sense it's funny," said Chief Deputy Correction Secretary Dan Stieneke. "In another, it's alarming."

In previous tests of revolvers purchased in 2004, roughly one in four misfired. They are .38 caliber Model 64s, which have 3-inch barrels. The .357 caliber Model 65s had the problem with barrel breaks. Test fires of a third revolver, the slightly smaller Model 60, resulted in cracked or sheared barrels in four cases.

No weapons have failed in the line of duty. Stieneke said the guns will remain in service while the department tries to resolve the problems, but annual in-service training will cease until a solution is found. New hires will receive weapons training because there are enough reliable revolvers to train them.

"On the one hand, statistically [the revolvers' performance] is not bad, but it's just the safety issue," Stieneke said. "That kind of failure gets people's attention."

The weapons are assigned to probation officers who keep track of probationers with more dangerous criminal histories, and to correction officers who patrol prison perimeters and escort inmates outside the facilities. (Those correction officers often carry rifles and shotguns as well.)

Correction officers inside prisons do not carry guns because there is a much greater risk that they could fall into inmates' hands. They carry pepper spray and batons.

Correction officials have asked the company to replace the 500 Model 64s purchased in 2004. They might extend that request to replace all of the department's 5,000 revolvers.

If Smith & Wesson does not replace the guns, the department might file a lawsuit or turn to taxpayers for help. Replacing the guns, which cost about $320 each, would come to more than $1.5 million. The department also would have to replace ammunition, holsters and other accessories, and retrain its officers to use the replacement weapons.

"We're at a point where if we have to make a quick switch, it's going to cost millions of dollars, and it's going to take a lot of training and effort to get back up to speed," Stieneke said.

Smith & Wesson officials did not return repeated phone calls for comment. Based in Springfield, Mass., Smith & Wesson is one of the nation's largest gunmakers.

The company's guns have drawn criticism from other law enforcement agencies. In 2001, New Jersey canceled a purchase of about 3,200 semi-automatic pistols from Smith & Wesson for its state police because of high malfunction rates.

North Carolina prison officials have been using Smith & Wesson revolvers for at least 20 years, even as many other law enforcement agencies have switched to higher-powered, semi-automatic handguns that carry more rounds.

Stieneke said that no one noticed a troublesome trend with the revolvers until late 2004, when trainers began seeing misfires with the new batch of Model 64s. A misfire is when the trigger is pulled and nothing happens.

In March and April 2005, the trainers tested all 500 of the new batch of handguns at shooting ranges across the state. They reported misfire rates of between 11 percent and 43 percent.

In the meantime, another problem emerged: barrels dropping or flying off the Model 65s during firing. The department surveyed trainers across the state and counted up 14 cases of barrel failure in the past three years.

Both problems led to the visit by Smith & Wesson on Feb. 21.
Stieneke said the revolvers are no longer a popular item and that might be contributing to their unreliability. For example, the department has had to special order the Model 65s in recent years.

That, along with the weapon failures, has Stieneke thinking it is time to follow the rest of the law enforcement community and switch to semi-automatics.

Staff writer Dan Kane can be reached at 829-4861 or

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