Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson reiterated his pro-Second Amendment stance in light of the Orlando shooting in a phone interview with Reason Tuesday morning.
“I understand how so many people can believe that if you restrict this kind of weapon you can prevent this kind of incident,” Johnson said. “But there’s just no evidence whatsoever to suggest that it makes us any safer, and in fact restricting guns makes things less safe, that’s the camp that I’m in.”
The former New Mexico Governor also stated that had someone in the Pulse nightclub been carrying a firearm, the situation’s devastation could have been reduced or prevented. “If it were that 10 people who could have had a weapon in that nightclub? That ultimately would have made the situation less horrific than it ended up being. I’m in that camp,” he told reporters at Reason.
Praising a Libertarian Party press release calling for a voluntary end to all gun-free zones, the 2016 presidential candidate said that such tragedies consistently “happen in gun free zones, all these places where horrific shootings happen are all gun free.”
Strong pro-gun statements from Johnson will be welcome news for libertarians and conservatives. Many within the Libertarian Party have questioned Johnson’s Second Amendment resolve due to the selection of Bill Weld as his running mate. As Governor of Massachusetts, Weld signed one of the country’s toughest assault weapons bans into law. Before and during the LP convention, Weld changed course, releasing a video statement and signing a pro-Second Amendment pledge brought by the LP of Texas.
With the convention long over and the race to the middle heating up, libertarians and conservatives should be encouraged that Johnson is not moderating on guns. For now, it appears that the former Republicans are holding their ground on the issue.