Trump Reverses Stance on Assault Weapons in New Policy Paper

PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump, speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif. AP Photo
Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump, speaks during the CNN Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum on, Sept. 16, 2015, in Simi Valley, Calif.

Donald Trump has come out with guns blazing against assault weapon and extended magazine bans, casting them as a “total failure."

The position on assault weapons represents a departure for Trump from a stance he held about 15 years ago. Today’s release was not expected from the campaign. Trump has been saying on the trail his next policy paper would focus on taxes and would come out in the next two-three weeks.

"Gun and magazine bans are a total failure. That’s been proven every time it’s been tried," the policy paper said. "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."

The presidential frontrunner instead said: "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."

In his 2000 book “The America We Deserve” Trump seemed to take a different stance.

"I generally oppose gun control, but I support the ban on assault weapons and I also support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun," he said. "With today’s Internet technology we should be able to tell within seventy-two hours if a potential gun owner has a record.”

A majority of the policy paper includes points Trump has been making on the trail, such as calling for military personnel to be armed while at recruiting centers.

Trump calls the current prohibition on arming soldiers, which he said cost lives in the July shooting at a Chattanooga, TN military facility, “ridiculous.”

"We train our military how to safely and responsibly use firearms, but our current policies leave them defenseless," the paper said. "To make America great again, we need a strong military. To have a strong military, we need to allow them to defend themselves.”

Trump was scheduled to appear Thursday night in South Carolina as part of the Heritage Foundation’s annual gathering but cancelled last minute citing a business transaction that he needed to attend to first. He will be campaigning in Iowa Saturday.