Donald Trump unexpectedly released his position on guns on Friday afternoon.
His unexpected Second Amendment policy proposal explained in writing that it is “imperative” to preserve Second Amendment rights. Trump’s plan pushes for rules that “empower law-abiding gun owners to defend themselves.”
Trump has previously confirmed that he is a gun owner himself and has a concealed carry permit, but he has responded, “I’d rather not say,” when he’s been asked by Conservative Radio host Hugh Hewitt about specifics on which kind of guns he has, according to NBC News.
Trump’s policy paper calls gun and magazine bans “a complete failure” and attacks attempts to expand background check programs, explaining how “very few criminals are stupid enough to try and pass a background check” and they instead “get their guns from friends/family members or by stealing them.”
Trump also rejects bans of specific types of guns or magazines, calling past bans a “total failure.”
“Opponents of gun rights try to come up with scary sounding phrases like ‘assault weapons’, ‘military-style weapons’ and ‘high capacity magazines’ to confuse people,” the policy paper says. “What they’re really talking about are popular semi-automatic rifles and standard magazines that are owned by tens of millions of Americans.”
Trump has not always been an ardent Second Amendment supporter. When he toyed with the idea of running for President in 2000, Trump supported the Assault Weapons Ban and waiting periods to purchase a gun.
“The Republicans walk the NRA line and refuse even limited restrictions,” he wrote in his book “The America We Deserve.” “I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I also support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun.”
In his new proposal, Trump explains how he feels “we need to get serious about prosecuting violent criminals.” He details how the out-of-control violent crime in cities like Baltimore, Chicago “needs to stop” and how crime will go down in cities if drug dealers and gang members are kept off the streets.
The real estate mogul also writes that the nation must “fix our broken mental health system,” although outside of “expanding treatment programs,” he has not offered many specifics on how to address mental health issues.
The release of the new plan caught Americans by surprise, as gun policy was not something Trump talked about in depth prior to Friday’s release and he has recently teased that a new policy proposal on his tax plan would be released in two to four weeks.