Guns
The debate over gun ownership continues in the 2008 presidential campaign. It's centered on the Second Amendment to the Constitution, protecting a person's right to bear and keep arms. Read the stances of the presidential candidates below. The views of the vice presidential candidates are shown where available.
REPUBLICANS
John McCain
Voted for a 2005 law prohibiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers stemming from acts committed by others using their products. Supports instant criminal background checks on people purchasing guns and believes law should apply to gun sales at gun shows. Opposes restrictions on assault weapons and voted against such a ban. Voted against a 10-year extension of the assault weapons ban. Supported legislation requiring gun manufacturers to include gun safety devices such as trigger locks in product packaging and voted for 2005 child safety lock amendment. Voted against 2005 amendment placing restrictions on rifle ammunition that is "designed or marketed" to be armor-piercing. Opposed 1994 crime bill, which contained the assault weapons ban. Has a C+ rating from the NRA. Regarding the Supreme Court case District of Columbia v. Heller, McCain signed a friend-of-the-court brief urging the Supreme Court to overturn the District of Columbia gun ban. Voted for 2006 amendment prohibiting confiscation of firearms from private citizens, particularly during times of crisis or emergency.
 Watch McCain speak about guns
Sarah Palin
Opposes ban on semi-automatic weapons. During an ABC News interview, she said: "I'm a lifetime member of the NRA. I believe strongly in our Second Amendment rights. That's kind of inherent in the people of my state who rely on guns for not just self-protection, but also for our hunting and for sports, also. It's a part of a culture here in Alaska."
DEMOCRATS
Barack Obama
Voted against a 2005 law prohibiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers stemming from acts committed by others using their products. Supports instant criminal background checks on people purchasing guns and believes law should apply to gun sales at gun shows. Calls for permanently reinstating assault weapons ban. Voted for 2005 amendment placing restrictions on rifle ammunition that is "designed or marketed" to be armor-piercing. Supports making guns childproof and voted for 2005 child safety lock amendment. Would repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, which allows the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to share data on history of sales and transfers of firearms used in crimes only with federal agencies for national security purposes, or prosecutors needing it for an ongoing criminal investigation or prosecution. Regarding the Supreme Court case District of Columbia v. Heller, Obama did not sign a friend-of-the-court brief that urged the Supreme Court to overturn the District of Columbia gun ban. At a debate, when asked about case, Obama said he believes "that the Constitution confers an individual right to bear arms. But just because you have an individual right does not mean that the state or local government can't constrain the exercise of that right." Voted for 2006 amendment prohibiting confiscation of firearms from private citizens, particularly during times of crisis or emergency.  Watch Obama speak about guns
Joe Biden
Stated in 2007 NPR interview: "I think there is a Second Amendment. People have a right to bear arms, but people don't have a right to have armor-piercing bullets. They don't have a right to carry assault weapons, in my view. They don't have a right to engage in conduct that is irresponsible in terms of what they sell at gun shows. They don't have a right to do a lot. There are limitations on every constitutional right."
Obama and McCain: Key Senate Votes from 2005 through 2008

Gun Manufacturers' Liability

July 29, 2005 -- The U.S. Senate passes legislation -- by a vote of 65-31-- that protects gun manufacturers and dealers from being sued when others misuse their products.

McCain: Yea
Obama: Nay

(Sources: CQ Weekly; U.S. Senate Legislation Database)
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Resources
The issues that make up American politics have many voices. Here are a few governmental organizations, interest groups and companies from across the political spectrum that are actors in the debate over guns. * CNN does not endorse external sites.
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