Candidates' positions are categorized as Pro (Yes), Con (No), Not Clearly Pro or Con, or None Found. Candidates who have changed their positions are listed as Now their most recent position. Candidates are listed by party and in alphabetical order by last name. Black & white photos indicate candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria for inclusion.
Should most adults have the right to carry a concealed handgun?
Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico, made the following statement in "Guns Must Never Be up for Grabs" on www.garyjohnson2012.com (accessed on Oct. 13, 2011):
"I'm an ardent supporter of the 2nd amendment and openly advocated conceal carry as Governor. It was a new concept at the time, but I believed it would result in less crime - a fact borne out by the statistics." Oct. 31, 2011 Gary Johnson
Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, stated the following on his campaing website page "Gun Rights," available at www.mittromney.com (accessed July 31, 2012):
"Mitt strongly supports the right of all law-abiding Americans to exercise their constitutionally protected right to own firearms and to use them for lawful purposes, including hunting, recreational shooting, self-defense, and the protection of family and property...
...Mitt will work to expand and enhance access and opportunities for Americans to hunt, shoot, and protect their families, homes and property, and he will fight the battle on all fronts to protect and promote the Second Amendment." July 31, 2012 Mitt Romney
Jill Stein, MD, former Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, stated the following in a Dec. 21, 2011 interview, "OnTheIssues Interview with Jill Stein," available at www.ontheissues.org:
"It is more dangerous to the occupants of a home to have a gun than not. It's more likely that you'll be injured by your own gun than that you'll be defended against some intruder with that gun. It's an enormous public health problem in our cities-- there are tragedies every day where young people are being shot, as victims of gun crimes. It's tragic. We're not arguing that nobody should have a gun--but public safety should factor into constraints." Dec. 21, 2011 Jill Stein
Michele Bachmann, US Representative (R-MN), stated the following under the title "Minnesota Values," in the "Issues" section of her congressional web page (accessed on Oct. 5, 2011), available at www.bachmann.house.gov:
"The Second Amendment states that the people's right to keep and bear arms may not be infringed, and I believe that citizens who are in compliance with the law should not have that guaranteed right taken away." Oct. 5, 2011 Michele Bachmann
[Editor’s Note: Bachmann cosponsored H.R. 197(119 KB), National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act of 2009. The bill sought "to provide a national standard in accordance with which nonresidents of a state may carry concealed firearms in the State."]
Herman Cain, Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and Chairman of Godfather's Pizza, stated the following at an Apr. 28, 2011 campaign event in Rochester, New Hampshire, available on You Tube:
"What about a nationwide concealed weapons ban, here is how I would want to see that done. Let each state pass their concealed weapons ban. Empower the states that's how I would do it... not have a federal mandate for it." Apr. 28, 2011 Herman Cain
Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the US House of Representatives (R-GA), stated the following in the Apr. 23, 2007 "Gingrich Blames Liberalism for Increasing Violence," available at www.abcnews.com:
"In states where people have been allowed to have concealed weapons, in Mississippi and Kentucky, there have been incidents of this kind [Virginia Tech massacre] of a killer who were stopped, because in fact, people who are law-abiding people, who are rational, and people who are responsible had the ability to stop them." Apr. 23, 2007 Newt Gingrich
Jon Huntsman, former Governor of Utah, signed Firearms Amendments, H.B.357(33 KB), into law in Utah on Mar. 30, 2009. The bill stated in part:
"Modifies the criminal penalties exception provisions related to carrying a concealed firearm to apply to a vehicle in a person's lawful possession and to a vehicle in the lawful possession of another, with the consent of that person; allows a person to carry a loaded firearm in a vehicle in the person's lawful possession or in a vehicle with the consent of the person lawfully in possession of the vehicle; allows for the possession of a loaded firearm on a person's real property…” Mar. 30, 2009 Jon Huntsman
Ron Paul, US Representative (R-TX), wrote the following in his Jan. 17, 2011 article "On Gun Control and Violence," available on www.thehill.com:
"Politicians and a complicit media have conditioned many citizens to view government as our protector, leading to more demands for government action whenever tragedies occur. But this impulse is at odds with the best American traditions of self-reliance and individualism, and it also leads to bad laws and the loss of liberty...
We need to reaffirm the core American value of individual responsibility. Consider the young man who had the courage to tackle the shooter [Jared Loughner] and prevent further carnage because he himself had a concealed weapon. Without that gun, he could have been yet another sitting duck. When peaceful citizens are armed, they at least have a chance against armed criminals.
Advocates of gun control would urge us to leave our safety to law enforcement, but eyewitness reports indicate it took police as much as 20 minutes to arrive on the scene that day! Since police cannot be everywhere all of the time, a large part of our personal safety depends on our ability to defend ourselves." Jan. 17, 2011 Ron Paul
Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, stated the following in the Sep. 29, 2010 article by Kelley Shannon titled "Texas Debates Allowing Concealed Weapons on Campus," posted on MSNBC.com:
"There are already guns on campus. All too often they are illegal. I want there to be legal [concealed] guns on campus. I think it makes sense -- and all of the data supports -- that if law abiding, well-trained, backgrounded individuals have a weapon, then there will be less crime." Sep. 29, 2010 Rick Perry
ProCon.org emailed the Roemer campaign for his position to this question on Oct. 26, 2011. We made a follow up call on Jan. 31, 2012, and we sent a follow up email on Feb. 8, 2012. Although Roemer's campaign manager and policy advisor did reply to our emails, we have not yet received Roemer's position on this issue as of Feb. 14, 2012.
Rick Santorum, former US Representative (R-PA), is quoted as having said the following in the Apr. 29, 2011 Politico article "Rick Santorum to NRA: Our Fight Is about More than Second Amendment":
"I know many of you in this room have engaged and fought on the Second Amendment. Thank you….Now we have to fight on all the amendments. Now we have to fight on all the principles that our founders stood by….The beauty is that you folks here in the NRA have been talking about this for years, somewhat out in the wilderness….But now the values that you’ve been focused for so many years are coming right squarely in the center…In many respects, you folks were the canary in the mineshaft (with) the assault on basic foundational freedoms in our Constitution….Now we’re seeing those assaults growing and growing and growing. But you were out there first, leading the charge, fighting those battles. And now the battlefield has broadened, and we have to fight for our freedom from an oppressive government on a variety of fronts." Apr. 29, 2011 Rick Santorum