Hillary Clinton couldn't definitively say Sunday that the Second Amendment of the Constitution guaranteed the right to bear arms during an interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos.
Republican rival Donald Trump has charged that Clinton wants to abolish the amendment. While Stephanopoulos said he knew that wasn't true, he pressed her on her gun views that have increasingly gone to the left.
'Do you believe that an individual's right to bear arms is a constitutional right, that it's not linked to service in a militia?" he asked.
'I think that for most of our history, there was a nuanced reading of the Second Amendment until the decision by the late Justice Scalia, and there was no argument until then that localities and states and the federal government had a right, as we do with every amendment, to impose reasonable regulations," she said. 'So I believe we can have common-sense gun safety measures consistent with the Second Amendment."
Clinton then went into her gun control platform, but Stephanopoulos hit her for dodging his question, noting the D.C. vs. Heller decision that protected an individual's right to have a firearm for lawful purposes.
'And the Heller decision also does say there can be some restrictions, but that's not what I asked," he said. 'I said, do you believe that their conclusion that an individual's right to bear arms is a constitutional right?"
'If it is a constitutional right, then it, like every other constitutional right, is subject to reasonable regulations, and what people have done with that decision is to take it as far as they possibly can and reject what has been our history from the very beginning of the republic, where some of the earliest laws that were passed were about firearms," Clinton said.
She added it was 'important to recognize" that responsible gun-owners have a right, but 'the rest of the American public has a right to require certain kinds of regulatory, responsible actions to protect everyone else."