Vital Signs

Gore's Double Standard on Firearms

Speaking in Atlanta this May, Al Gore joined the National Rifle Association and numerous police unions in supporting federal legislation to override state laws regulating the concealed carrying of handguns. Many states do not allow out-of-state, off-duty police officers to carry handguns. The Vice President wants to force communities to allow non-resident, off-duty visitors, who happen to be police officers in their home state, to carry a concealed weapon.

In contrast, Gore's position paper on "Gun Violence" claims that "Al Gore will oppose efforts to loosen existing limits on concealed weapons." Presumably, this means that a future President Gore would sign Sen. Frank Lautenberg's bill to eliminate the laws in 31 states that allow law-abiding citizens to obtain permits to carry handguns for lawful protection, provided they pass a background check.

States would lose decisionmaking power under both proposals: Gore wants to stop states from allowing ordinary citizens to carry guns, and to compel states to allow non-resident, off-duty police officers to carry guns.

Gore's double standard prevails throughout the anti-gun movement. It's virtually impossible to find a gun-control law or proposal that doesn't have a police exemption. Critics claim that "assault weapons" are useful only for killing a lot of innocent people quickly, but the police can possess them. "Junk...

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