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Elizabeth Dole opposes concealed weapons law, backs mandatory safety locks

May 12, 1999
Web posted at: 12:07 a.m. EDT (0407 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, May 12) -- Vowing she "won't shy away from tough issues," Elizabeth Dole said Tuesday it is "wrong" to allow Americans to carry concealed weapons and that she supports mandatory safety locks on guns -- two gun-control proposals that GOP front-runner George W. Bush opposes.

"I think police work is hard enough already. No one should make it harder. I think it's wrong to let people carry concealed weapons," Dole said in a prepared text for a much broader speech on the career paths of women.

The announcement for specific gun-control measures distinguishes Dole from the rest of the GOP presidential field for the 2000 election.

"It's the right thing to do and I won't shy away from the tough issues, even if some in my party don't like it," Dole said.

While saying she opposes people being allowed to carry concealed weapons, she said it is ultimately "a matter for states to decide."

In 1995, Texas Gov. Bush signed a bill into law that overturned a statewide ban on carrying concealed weapons that had been in place since 1871.

At odds with Gov. Bush

Dole also announced her support for mandatory safety locks on guns. This comes on the heels of an interview with "Good Morning America" in which Gov. Bush specifically stated that he does not support mandatory safety locks.

Karen Hughes, a Bush spokeswoman, responded to Dole's remarks by reiterating the governor's opposition to these proposals and emphasizing that Bush is a leader who "does in office what he says he will do during the campaign."

With regards to the concealed carry law, Hughes stated that "Governor Bush campaigned in 1994 on this issue and signed into law a bill that allows law-abiding citizens who are willing to be trained and licensed to carry handguns for their self-protection, and many citizens, particularly women who work late at night, have indicated that they feel safer as a result of that legislation."

As for the mandatory safety locks, Gov. Bush opposes them, but, according to Hughes, "supports voluntary efforts of manufacturers to put safety locks on guns."

Dole has recently been increasingly vocal in support of various gun-control proposals, causing a stir this month when she announced support for other gun-control proposals at a New Hampshire dinner of party activists.

Dole's remarks were part of a keynote address titled "Women on the Path to Power" delivered to a Working Woman magazine awards dinner at the Mayflower Hotel, honoring the top 500 women-owned businesses.


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Wednesday, May 12, 1999

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