Gun issues are a top concern for young female voters, according to Refinery29's Vote Your Values poll. The poll, conducted this spring in partnership with ABC News, found that about 1 in 10 women cited gun rights as the most important of a number of issues polled. If you're one of those for whom the right to bear arms is a deal breaker, it may make your decision this election a lot easier, because the candidates are on markedly different sides.
Here's what to know about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's position. And if you're curious about Donald Trump's platform, you can check that out here.
Where does she stand?
Hillary Clinton is adamantly for stronger gun control and better gun-violence prevention, according to her campaign website. If elected, Clinton has promised to expand background checks, close loopholes that allow domestic abusers and the mentally ill to buy firearms, and hold dealers and manufacturers accountable for deaths. She also supports banning individuals on the no-fly list from being permitted to buy guns.
"I know that we have a majority of Americans and a majority of gun owners who support universal background checks in America," she said in a speech in Ohio in September of 2015. "And I strongly believe we’ve got to have common-sense reforms to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals, the violently unstable, domestic abusers, and even terrorists, who find it pretty easy in our country to get a hold of a weapon.”
Clinton’s stances would likely make it harder for everyone, including criminals, to get their hands on firearms without undergoing a background check.
As a senator, she voted against legislation to protect weapon manufacturers and dealers from lawsuits over deaths associated with their products. She also has supported banning assault weapons for sale to the general public. After the Orlando shooting, Clinton called for the reinstatement of the ban on assault weapons originally signed into law by her husband, then-president Bill Clinton, in 1994.
Who’s on her side…
Clinton has been endorsed by gun-safety advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety, which chose her over opponent Bernie Sanders shortly before the crucial California primary. In an op-ed in The Sacramento Bee, the leaders of the group, as well as its sister organization, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said that Clinton sided with the public over the gun lobby. “She’s listening to the people who want to make America safe again,” they wrote. Clinton has also been endorsed by multiple lawmakers in favor of gun control, including Reps. Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, and Jim Himes, D-CT, Sen. Ed Markey, D-MA, and Gabrielle Giffords, a former Democratic congresswoman and survivor of gun violence.
In an essay posted to Medium, Giffords spoke about why Clinton’s stance on guns won her endorsement. “Only one candidate for president has the determination and toughness to stand up to the corporate gun lobby — and the record to prove it. That candidate is Hillary Clinton,” she wrote.
…And who’s not.
On the other hand, she’s been criticized by gun-advocacy groups like the National Rifle Association, which accused her of trying to take away the right to own a firearm protected under the Second Amendment. In a speech at the Republican National Convention, Chris Cox, executive director of the lobbying arm of the National Rifle Association, said that a Clinton-influenced Supreme Court would “[mean] your right to own a firearm is gone.”
“Only one candidate for president has the determination and toughness to stand up to the corporate gun lobby — and the record to prove it. That candidate is Hillary Clinton,”
If she is elected and able to carry out all her promises, Clinton’s stances would likely make it harder for everyone, including criminals, to get their hands on firearms without undergoing a background check. However, the expanded background checks don't address other holes in the system or a lack of complete records.
Republicans, including Trump, and gun-rights advocates have warned that Clinton wants to "abolish the Second Amendment" and take away Americans' guns, but independent fact-checkers say there's no evidence to support those claims.
Of course, she'd likely need Democrats to regain control of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate for any of the policies to have a chance at making it to her Oval Office desk.