Libertarian VP candidate shows ignorance on guns, claims removing firing pin makes weapon fully automatic

William Weld is ignorant on guns
William Weld (l), Gary Johnson (r) — Flickr – labeled for reuse

During an interview at Revolt TV, former Massachusetts Governor William Weld, the current Libertarian Party vice-presidential candidate, displayed an egregious ignorance on guns, claiming, for example, that removing the firing pin from a semi-automatic weapons makes it fully automatic, the Daily Caller reported on Tuesday.

“The five-shot rifle, that’s a standard military rifle,” he told Revolt’s Chief Political Correspondent Amrit Singh. “The problem is if you attach a clip to it so it can fire more shells and if you remove the pin so that it becomes an automatic weapon. And those are independent criminal offenses. That’s when they become essentially a weapon of mass destruction.”

Of course, anyone who knows anything about guns can tell you that removing the firing pin would render the weapon inoperable — it’s not going to fire anything at all.

When asked about dealing with the flow of guns, Weld responded: “You shouldn’t have anybody who’s on a terrorist watch list be able to buy any gun at all.”

Is America headed for a recession?

So much for due process.

The Daily Caller added:

Weld went on to suggest to the interviewer that both handguns and AR-15s are a “problem,” stating, “The problem with handguns is probably even worse than the problem of the AR-15.”

This latest episode reveals that when pressed on firearms issues, despite any assurances he has given to voters, Weld’s political instincts are to abandon gun owners and embrace gun control.

This would seem to contradict the Libertarian Party platform on gun control, which reads:

Foolish politicians and police now seek to ban semi-automatic “assault rifles”. They ignore the fact that only honest citizens will comply; criminals will still have them. Such a ban will only increase the criminals’ ability to victimize the innocent.

Let us put the responsibility where it belongs, on the owner and user of the gun. If he or she acts responsibly, without attacking others or causing injury negligently, no crime or harm has been done. Leave them in peace. But, if a person commits a crime with a gun, then impose the severest penalties for the injuries done to the victim. Similarly, hold the negligent gun user fully liable for all harm his negligence does to others.

Rather than banning guns, the politicians and the police should encourage gun ownership, as well as education and training programs. A responsible, well-armed and trained citizenry is the best protection against domestic crime and the threat of foreign invasion. America’s founders knew that. It is still true today.

Maybe someone should send this to Weld…


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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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