Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) second tenure as Speaker of the House will come to an end in January. The California congresswoman has been in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1987, and has served as Speaker of the House two separate times, under four different presidents.
Though she is stepping down from leadership in her party, she will still be a notable member of Congress, and will undoubtedly still hold a certain degree of power, though how much is yet to be seen.
Throughout her decades in Congress, Nancy Pelosi—as Speaker, Minority Leader, and as a congresswoman—has made her animus towards the Second Amendment and law-abiding gun owners clear. Such is why the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) said Pelosi is “one of the most rabidly anti-gun lawmakers” when she first ascended to her position of Speaker.
Those who value and cherish our Second Amendment freedoms welcome the end of Pelosi’s tenure, given her track record, but her successor may not be much better—we’ll have more on that in an upcoming article.
Here are but a few examples of Rep. Pelosi’s attacks on the Second Amendment during her decades in Congress.
Voted in favor of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban
That’s right, Pelosi has been in office long enough to have voted in favor of the ban on semi-automatic firearms in 1994. We’ve detailed numerous times here at A1F.com how this ban had a negligible effect, at best, in addressing violent crime, as it merely punished law-abiding gun owners. If you don’t take our word for it, a congressionally mandated study that was undertaken after the ban sunset determined that the effect was negligible, if it had any impact at all. Did such information change Pelosi’s stance? We’ll get to that.
Other anti-gun votes
In 1999, Pelosi voted against an amendment proposed by Rep. John Doolittle (R-Cal.) that “simply asked that legislation being considered at the time recognize that the Second Amendment protect an individual right to arms and that the bill would not impose unconstitutional restrictions on any individuals right to arms.” Thankfully, this amendment passed on an overwhelming 337-73 vote, with even Pelosi’s predecessor, Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.) voting in favor of it.
Favoring firearms registration and opposing right-to-carry reciprocity
In 2009, Pelosi appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” where she said, “The Supreme Court has ruled in a direction that gives more opportunity for people to have guns … . We want them registered. We don’t want them crossing state lines.”
Political posturing to further her unpopular agenda
In 2016, Pelosi facilitated a partisan “sit-in” on the House floor “demanding that [the House] take up legislation to ban firearm purchases by those on secret government lists and to ban private firearm transfers. Pelosi even ludicrously declared at one point that the sit-in would continue ‘until hell freezes over.’ Instead, it lasted about 16 hours and featured social media posts, pillows, donuts, pizza, and a catered buffet. The political stunt accomplished nothing of substance, other than causing disruption to official government business and expense to U.S. taxpayers.”
Recent gun-control votes
Earlier this year, Rep. Pelosi, in her position as Speaker, rushed two anti-gun bills to the House floor. Both of these bills would punish law-abiding gun owners while doing nothing to keep firearms from criminals who, by definition, circumvent the law.
The first, introduced by Pelosi, would ban 18-20-year-old adults from acquiring semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. Her proposal would “extinguish law-abiding adults’ Second Amendment rights and contends that these individuals are responsible enough to defend their country or vote in an election, but cannot be trusted to follow the law,” as reported by NRA-ILA.
The second was essentially a combination of legislative proposals to create “red-flag” laws, which allow for the confiscation of firearms without due process.
Attempted to resurrect a ban on semi-automatic rifles
After the previously mentioned ban sunset in 2004, Pelosi repeatedly attempted to work to pass a new ban on these commonly owned semi-automatic rifles; in fact, she has attempted to do so multiple times this year. There is no doubt that she would continue to push forward this agenda of hers were she to remain in a position of leadership.
Repeatedly attacked this nation’s oldest civil-rights organization
While this comes as no surprise, given all the instances mentioned above, Pelosi has attacked the National Rifle Association throughout her tenure.
In 2017, she tweeted, “Let’s be clear: there is a difference between the NRA & gun owners. Many gun owners want common sense efforts to [end gun violence].”
Considering that the NRA is the leading source of information and training for safe, responsible firearms ownership, this tweet demonstrates that the soon-to-be-former Speaker simply wants to score political points with certain groups.
Rep. Pelosi recently said that she will “always have influence” over House Democrats. It is yet to be determined how much “influence” she will have, but having such an ardent anti-Second Amendment politician step down from leadership is still welcome news.
Succeeding her in party leadership is Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.), whose own record, though not as long as Pelosi’s, will soon be detailed here at A1F.com.