Webster’s defines the word platform as “a formal declaration of policy for a group; such as a political party.”

With the Democratic National Convention last week in Denver and the Republican event currently underway in St. Paul, Minn., both parties have completed and made public their official manifestos tailored toward providing their philosophy and direction for next four years.

For those sportsmen who remain ambivalent about the upcoming presidential and congressional election, it may be enlightening to read the entire official position on firearms and gun control from the two major political parties. Both are presented here exactly as they appear in the recently released party platforms, so you may read and digest them in their fully intended context.


The Democratic National Committee party platform:

“We recognize that the right to bear arms is an important part of the American tradition, and we will preserve Americans’ Second Amendment right to own and use firearms. We believe that the right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation, but we know that what works in Chicago may not work in Cheyenne. We can work together to enact and enforce common-sense laws and improvements–like closing the gun show loophole, improving our background check system, and reinstating the assault weapons ban, so that guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists or criminals. Acting responsibly and with respect for differing views on this issue, we can both protect the constitutional right to bear arms and keep our communities and our children safe.”


The Republican National Committee party platform:

“We uphold the right of individual Americans to own firearms, a right which antedated the Constitution and was solemnly confirmed by the Second Amendment. We applaud the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller affirming that right, and we assert the individual responsibility to safely use and store firearms. We call on the next president to appoint judges who will similarly respect the Constitution. Gun ownership is responsible citizenship, enabling Americans to defend themselves, their property, and communities. We call for education in constitutional rights in schools, and we support the option of firearms training in federal programs serving senior citizens and women. We urge immediate action to review the automatic denial of gun ownership to members of the Armed Forces who have suffered trauma during service to their country. We condemn frivolous lawsuits against firearms manufacturers, which are transparent attempts to deprive citizens of their rights. We oppose federal licensing of law-abiding gun owners and national gun registration as violations of the Second Amendment. We recognize that gun control only affects and penalizes law-abiding citizens, and that such proposals are ineffective at reducing violent crime.”

There you have it.

Which offers the most clarity and which is the most nuanced to you?