National Democratic Party
Crime and violence. While terrorism poses an especially menacing threat to our nation, a strong America must remain vigilant against the scourge of homegrown crime as well. We are proud that Democrats led the fight to put more than 100,000 cops on the beat through the COPS program, and we will continue our steadfast support for COPS and community policing. To keep our streets safe for our families, we support tough punishment of violent crime and smart efforts to reintegrate former prisoners into our communities as productive citizens. We will crack down on the gang violence and drug crime that devastate so many communities, and we will increase drug treatment, including mandatory drug courts and mandatory drug testing for parolees and probationers, so fewer crimes are committed in the first place. We support the rights of victims to be respected, to be heard, and to be compensated. We will help break the cycle of domestic violence by punishing offenders and standing with victims. We will protect Americans' Second Amendment right to own firearms, and we will keep guns out of the hands of criminals and terrorists by fighting gun crime, reauthorizing the assault weapons ban, and closing the gun show loophole, as President Bush proposed and failed to do.
Source: 2004 Democratic National Platform (cited 2/24/2008).
National Republican Party
Protecting Our Rights, Fighting Criminals, and Supporting Victims
Republicans and President Bush strongly support an individual right to own guns, which is explicitly protected by the Constitution’s Second Amendment. Our Party honors the great American tradition of hunting and we applaud efforts by the Bush Administration to make more public lands available to hunters, to increase access to hunting clinics and safety programs for children and adults, and to improve opportunities for hunting for Americans with disabilities.
We believe the Second Amendment and all of the rights guaranteed by it should enable law-abiding citizens throughout the country to own firearms in their homes for self-defense. To protect the rights and safety of law-abiding citizens, the Congress passed and President Bush signed the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act, which allows active and retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed guns in public while off-duty. We support efforts by the Administration and Congress to enhance the instant background check system for gun purchases and to ensure that records of lawful transactions are destroyed in a timely manner. We applaud Congressional Republicans for seeking to stop frivolous lawsuits against firearms manufacturers, which is a transparent attempt to deprive citizens of their Second Amendment rights. We oppose federal licensing of lawabiding gun owners and national gun registration as a violation of the Second Amendment and an invasion of privacy of honest citizens.
We agree that the best way to deter crime is to enforce existing laws and hand down tough penalties against anyone who commits a crime with a gun. This approach is working. Since Project Safe Neighborhoods was instituted in 2001, hundreds of new federal, state, and local prosecutors have been hired to target criminals who use guns. Prosecutions are up 68 percent, and the violent crime victimization rate is down 21 percent. The Republican Party and President Bush support a federal Constitutional amendment for victims of violent crime that would provide specific rights for victims protected under the U.S. Constitution. We support courts having the option to impose the death penalty in capital murder cases. We praise President Bush and Republicans in Congress for the measures they have taken to protect pregnant women from violent crime by passing Laci and Conner’s law, which recognizes the common-sense proposition that when a crime of violence against a pregnant woman kills or injures her unborn child, there are two victims and two offenses that should be punished.
Source: 2004 GOP Platform: http://www.gop.com/images/2004platform.pdf (cited 2/24/2008).
I.6 The Right to Keep and Bear Arms
The Issue: Governments at all levels often violate their citizens’ right of self defense with laws that restrict, limit or outright prohibit the ownership and use of firearms. These “gun control” laws are often justified by the mistaken premise that they will lead to a reduction in the level of violence in our society.
The Principle: The Bill of Rights recognizes that an armed citizenry is essential to a free society. We affirm the right to keep and bear arms.
Solutions: We oppose all laws at any level of government restricting, regulating or requiring the ownership, manufacture, transfer or sale of firearms or ammunition. We oppose all laws requiring registration of firearms or ammunition. We support repeal of all gun control laws. We demand the immediate abolition of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
Transition: We oppose any government efforts to ban or restrict the use of tear gas, "mace" or other self-protection devices. We further oppose all attempts to ban weapons or ammunition on the grounds that they are risky or unsafe. We favor the repeal of laws banning the concealment of weapons or prohibiting pocket weapons. We also oppose the banning of inexpensive handguns ("Saturday night specials") and semi-automatic or so-called assault weapons and their magazines or feeding devices.
Source: The Right to Keep and Bear Arms (cited 2/24/2008).
The right to bear arms is inherent in the right of self defense, defense of the family, and defense against tyranny, conferred on the individual and the community by our Creator to safeguard life, liberty, and property, as well as to help preserve the independence of the nation.
The right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution; it may not properly be infringed upon or denied.
The Constitution Party upholds the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms. We oppose attempts to prohibit ownership of guns by law-abiding citizens, and stand against all laws which would require the registration of guns or ammunition.
We emphasize that when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have them. In such circumstances, the peaceful citizen's protection against the criminal would be seriously jeopardized.
We call for the repeal of all federal firearms legislation, beginning with Federal Firearms Act of 1968.
We call for the rescinding of all executive orders, the prohibition of any future executive orders, and the prohibition of treaty ratification which would in any way limit the right to keep and bear arms.
Source: Gun Control (cited 2/24/2008).