Compared to other Republicans, Donald Trump used to be an outlier on guns. He wrote that he supported a ban on assault weapons in his 2000 book "The America We Deserve." In a 2012 interview with the Washington Times, a reluctant Trump told the interviewer that he owns several weapons, "but I don’t talk about it.”
But on Friday, Trump's presidential campaign released a policy paper that pulls a 180-degree reversal on the assault-weapon ban and puts his overall stance on guns squarely in line with today's NRA-cowed Republican party.
"Gun and magazine bans are a total failure," Trump wrote regarding the proposal he once supported. He went on:
That’s been proven every time it’s been tried. Opponents of gun rights try to come up with scary sounding phrases like “assault weapons”, “military-style weapons” and “high capacity magazines” to confuse people. What they’re really talking about are popular semi-automatic rifles and standard magazines that are owned by tens of millions of Americans. Law-abiding people should be allowed to own the firearm of their choice. The government has no business dictating what types of firearms good, honest people are allowed to own.
Trump went on to outline a standard conservative gun platform. He says there is no reason to expand federal background check system, which he calls "broken." Rather, he suggests that better data should be put into it in the first place, in order to make the existing one work more efficiently. (In his 2000 book, he supported a longer waiting period.)
Trump also cites the fact that he has a concealed carry weapons permit but criticizes the fact that it is only issued on a state-by-state basis.
"That permit should be valid in all 50 states. A driver’s license works in every state, so it’s common sense that a concealed carry permit should work in every state. If we can do that for driving – which is a privilege, not a right – then surely we can do that for concealed carry, which is a right, not a privilege," he writes.
Other parts of the policy call for making the nation's mental health systems stronger, which he linked to his gun policy by saying "[responsible gun owners] get blamed by anti-gun politicians, gun control groups and the media for the acts of deranged madmen."
"Most people with mental health problems aren’t violent, they just need help," he added. "But for those who are violent, a danger to themselves or others, we need to get them off the street before they can terrorize our communities. This is just common sense."
He calls for all military officers to be able to carry weapons with them at all time, including recruitment centers, after the shooting at a recruitment center in Chattanooga, Tn., which left five Marines and a naval officer dead.
Last month, fellow presidential candidate Jeb Bush attacked Trump for the fact that he "was a Democrat longer in the last decade than he was a Republican," suggesting that he was a closet liberal.
With this move, though, Trump has gone full legacy Republican. When it comes to guns, Trump is just like the rest of them.
Daniel Rivero is a producer/reporter for Fusion who focuses on police and justice issues. He also skateboards, does a bunch of arts related things on his off time, and likes Cuban coffee.