Clinton Says She Won’t Take Guns Away, Clashing With Previous Comments

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Hillary Clinton said she was not interested in taking away guns from Americans during her acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday, in spite of her past comments on the issue.

"If we're serious about keeping our country safe, we also can't afford to have a president who's in the pocket of the gun lobby," Clinton said in her speech. "I'm not here to repeal the Second Amendment. I'm not here to take away your guns. I just don't want you to be shot by someone who shouldn't have a gun in the first place."

"We should be working with responsible gun owners to pass common-sense reforms and keep guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists, and all others who would do us harm."

However, during the 2016 campaign, Clinton has privately indicated she does not believe the Supreme Court was right in acknowledging the Second Amendment protects and individual right to own firearms and publicly supported Australia's mandatory gun buyback program.

"I was proud when my husband took [the National Rifle Association] on, and we were able to ban assault weapons, but he had to put a sunset on so 10 years later," Clinton said in audio obtained by the Washington Free Beacon last October. "Of course [President George W.] Bush wouldn’t agree to reinstate them.

"We’ve got to go after this. And here again, the Supreme Court is wrong on the Second Amendment. And I am going to make that case every chance I get."

Later that same month, Clinton pointed to Australia as a "good example" of how to deal with gun violence after being asked about the country's policies by an attendee. She went on to say a mandatory buyback program is something that should be considered in the United States.

"Australia had a huge mass killing about 20-25 years ago, Canada did as well, so did the U.K. In reaction, they passed much stricter gun laws," she told the crowd. "In the Australian example, as I recall, that was a buyback program. The Australian government, as part of trying to clamp down on the availability of automatic weapons, offered a good price for buying hundreds of thousands of guns. Then, they basically clamped down, going forward, in terms of having more of a background check approach, more of a permitting approach, but they believe, and I think the evidence supports them, that by offering to buyback those guns, they were able to curtail the supply and set a different standard for gun purchases in the future."

"Communities have done that in our country, several communities have done gun buyback programs. I think it would be worth considering doing it on the national level, if that could be arranged."

Clinton admitted she did not have a specific plan for how to implement a national Australia-style buyback program in America but said it was still worth considering. "So I think that’s worth considering," she said. "I do not know enough detail to tell you how we would do it, or how would it work, but certainly your example is worth looking at."

Stephen Gutowski   Email Stephen | Full Bio | RSS
Stephen Gutowski is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon. He founded his own site as a junior in college and has been writing about news and politics since that time. He spent 4 years with the Media Research Center and was most recently with the Capitol City Project. His email address is Gutowski@FreeBeacon.com. His twitter handle is @StephenGutowski.

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