THE BLOG
10/24/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

NRA Lies About Obama's Positions on Handguns, Ammo and Defense

By Stephen C. Rose

In an extensive analysis, FactCheck has flagged false claims by the National Rifle Association (NRA) in mailers and TV ads. Specifically, the NRA says, "Obama plans to ban handguns, hunting ammo and use of a gun for home defense."

FactCheck states:

The NRA is circulating printed material and running TV ads making unsubstantiated claims that Obama plans to ban use of firearms for home defense, ban possession and manufacture of handguns, close 90 percent of gun shops and ban hunting ammunition.

Much of what the NRA passes off as Obama's "10 Point Plan to 'Change' the Second Amendment" is actually contrary to what he has said throughout his campaign: that he "respects the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms" and "will protect the rights of hunters and other law-abiding Americans to purchase, own, transport, and use guns."

The NRA, however, simply dismisses Obama's stated position as "rhetoric" and substitutes its own interpretation of his record as a secret "plan." Said an NRA spokesman: "We believe our facts."

But FactCheck states: "We find the NRA has cherry-picked, twisted and misrepresented Obama's record to come up with a bogus "plan."

The flier looks almost as though it comes from the Obama campaign. It uses the same color and font scheme as well as the campaign's sunrise logo. And on some points it is right; Obama has called for national legislation against carrying concealed firearms, and he would revive and make permanent the expired ban on semi-automatic "assault weapons," for example. On other points it exaggerates. Obama has spoken in favor of government registration of handguns, for example, but has not called for registration of all "firearms" including hunting rifles and shotguns. But the TV spots and fliers also make claims that are directly contrary to what Obama actually says about guns.

The entire FactCheck post is well worth a read. Here is its summary of Obama's actual position.

Regarding a Constitutional right to guns, Obama says:

... Barack Obama believes the Second Amendment creates an individual right, and he respects the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms. He will protect the rights of hunters and other law-abiding Americans to purchase, own, transport, and use guns.

On the issue of urban policy, Obama says he favors "commonsense measures" to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and children, and that he would bring back the expired "assault weapon" ban and make it permanent:

... Obama and Biden also favor commonsense measures that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals who shouldn't have them. They support closing the gun show loophole and making guns in this country childproof. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent, as such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets.