Obama Eager to Distance Self from Campaign’s Former Position on DC Handgun Ban

By Kelly Moeller

Jun 26, 2008 2:25pm

Craig Layne, a reporter from WJET-TV in Erie, Penn., today asked Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, a question on the DC gun ban.

Here’s how the exchange went down.

"In November you mentioned that the DC handgun law was constitutional," Layne said. "Now you’re embracing the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision striking down that law—

"That’s not what I said," Obama interrupted, per ABC News’ Jennifer Duck.

"Your aide said that," Layne clarified.

"I don’t know what my aide said but I’ve been very consistent, I teach constitutional law," Obama said. "What I said was that I believe 2nd Amendment as being an individual right and have said that consistently.  I also think that individual right is constrained by the rights of the community to maintain issues with public safety.  I don’t think those two principles are contradictory and in fact what I’ve been saying consistently is what the Supreme Court essentially said today."

Obama continued: "The DC law may have been struck down but they also affirmed the right for local communities to engage in background checks and other common sense laws that most lawful gun owners would agree with.  So I think we can move beyond some of the conflicts on this issue, make sure law abiding gun owners have their rights respected and at the same time make sure we don’t see the kinds of murder and devastation we’ve seen on the streets of some of our cities."

Watch this portion of the interview HERE.

- jpt

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