Gary Johnson on Gun ControlECHEVARRIA: Bill is up next on our republican line.
BILL/CALLER: Good morning. I would like to find out the libertarian stand on assault rifle bans, stance on assault rifle bans.
JOHNSON: If you outlaw guns, criminals will have guns. If you outlaw the number of (illegible) magazine, only the criminals, number of bullets in a magazine, only the criminals will have bullets in the magazine. Gun control sounds terrific, but at the end of the day, it makes this country less safe. This is the Second Amendment. The constitution guarantees all of us the right to bear arms.
31 May, 2016: Gary Johnson with Pedro Echevarria on Washington Journal on C-SPAN.org (starting at 25:27)
"All these atrocities have been happening in gun-free zones," he declares. "If there were law-abiding citizens that were carrying weapons - I'm not saying they would lessen the impact of these horrible atrocities, but maybe, maybe they could."
Johnson says the laws permitting "concealed carry" in some states have reduced violent crime. A criminal might think, he suggests, "Gee, do I try to steal this woman's purse in this parking lot, or seven or eight of these people who are around here, are they carrying weapons and I might get hurt, so I'm going to not accost her." Over the past five years, he himself has purchased two guns, kept at his home in Taos, for self-protection.
He also sees possession of guns as a bulwark against government tyranny.
"I mean, there have been atrocious drug raids and atrocious drug raids that have resulted in the death of individuals that were completely innocent," he says. "I would just ask the question, if the DEA knew they were raiding someone's home where they had automatic weapons, if that was just a known element of 'we're going to raid these people,' would they have raided them in the first place, just knowing that they had that deterrent?"
Even so, Johnson also says he has a "nuanced" view of the Libertarian Party platform plank, which opposes "all laws at any level of government" restricting guns. "We should be open to a discussion on keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill," he says. "I don't know how that manifests itself, but I'm looking to get elected President of the United States. I just want to let people know I have an open mind about how we might, how government might, interject itself in a lot of the problems we have."
16 June, 2016: Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson on guns, debates and pot
#GunRights & #DueProcess. #2A #NoFlyNoBuy
20 June, 2016: Gary Johnson on Twitter
GARY JOHNSON: I don’t think, constitutionally-speaking, the Second Amendment could be any clearer. And I’m in the camp that believes very simply, that if you outlaw guns, outlaws will have guns. As… running for governor of New Mexico, in 1994, what was a cutting edge issue in 1994 was concealed carry. Uh, it wasn’t as it is today. But then, in the primary, I was asked about concealed carry, and I gave my unequivocal support to conceal carry, believing that it would lead to overall less gun violence. That got me headlines for what I just thought was a common sense, uh, common sense response to that question. I am not the guy that’s going to legislate the caliber, of bullet, or the number of bullets in a clip.
7 April, 2012: Gary Johnson speaking at the Fort Worth Libertarian Party of Texas Presidential Debate
"I don't believe there should be any restrictions when it comes to firearms. None."
20 April, 2011: America's Next Top Libertarian, Slate Magazine
"If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns. The first people who are going to be in line to turn in their guns are law-abiding citizens. Criminals are going to be left with guns. I believe that concealed carry is a way of reducing gun violence."
12 November, 2000: Interview with Playboy magazine