Gun Violence

01.15.13

You Know Who Else Supported Gun Control?

You know who else supported gun control? No, not that guy. He actually loosened gun laws, at least for non-Jews.

Ronald Fricking Reagan supported gun control, as Brett Josephe reminds us in an op-ed for the Hartford Courant.

While still president in 1986, Reagan signed into law the Firearm Owners Protection Act, which was hailed by gun rights advocates because it included numerous protections for gun owners. However, it also banned ownership of any fully automatic rifles that were not already registered on the day the law was signed.

Then, in 1991, four years after the controversial Brady Bill was introduced in Congress and with passage again in doubt, Reagan penned an op-ed in The New York Times titled "Why I'm for the Brady Bill." In it, he expressed support for a seven-day waiting period before a purchaser could take possession of a handgun, an even more stringent restriction than the five day cooling-off period that was included in the final legislation, and less stringent than the 15-day cooling-off period he signed into law as governor of California. Reagan stated that prohibitions on sales to felons, drug addicts and the mentally ill had "no enforcement mechanism" and that "a uniform standard across the country" was necessary.

Regarding handguns, Reagan stated, "This level of violence must be stopped … If the passage of the Brady bill were to result in a reduction of only 10 or 15 percent of those numbers (and it could be a good deal greater), it would be well worth making it the law of the land."

Finally, in 1994, Reagan successfully threw his support behind the Assault Weapons Ban in a joint letter to the Boston Globe, saying, "As a longtime gun owner and supporter of the right to bear arms … I am convinced that the limitations imposed in this bill are absolutely necessary."