Tom Cole on Gun Control
Republican Representative (OK-4)
Voted YES on prohibiting product misuse lawsuits on gun manufacturers.
A bill to prohibit civil liability actions from being brought or continued against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms or ammunition for damages, injunctive or other relief resulting from the misuse of their products by others. A YES vote would:
Reference: Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act;
Bill S 397
; vote number 2005-534
on Oct 20, 2005
- Prohibit individuals from filing a qualified civil liability action
- Exempt lawsuits brought against individuals who knowingly transfer a firearm that will be used to commit a violent or drug-trafficking crime
- Exempt lawsuits against actions that result in death, physical injury or property damage due solely to a product defect
- Dismiss of all civil liability actions pending on the date of enactment
- Prohibit the manufacture, import, sale or delivery of armor piercing ammunition
Voted YES on prohibiting suing gunmakers & sellers for gun misuse.
Vote to pass a bill that would prohibit liability lawsuits from being brought against gun manufacturers and dealers based on the criminal misuse of firearms. The bill would also block these actions from being brought up against gun trade organizations and against ammunition makers and sellers. The measure would apply immediately to any pending cases. Several specific exceptions to the ban exist. This includes civil suits would be allowed against a maker or dealer who "knowingly and willfully violated" state or federal laws in the selling or marketing of a weapon. Design and manufacturing defect lawsuits are also permitted when weapons are "used as intended.
Reference: Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act;
Bill HR 1036
; vote number 2003-124
on Apr 9, 2003
Rated A by the NRA, indicating a pro-gun rights voting record.
Cole scores A by NRA on pro-gun rights policies
While widely recognized today as a major political force and as America's foremost defender of Second Amendment rights, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has, since its inception, been the premier firearms education organization in the world. But our successes would not be possible without the tireless efforts and countless hours of service our nearly three million members have given to champion Second Amendment rights and support NRA programs.
The following ratings are based on lifetime voting records on gun issues and the results of a questionaire sent to all Congressional candidates; the NRA assigned a letter grade (with A+ being the highest and F being the lowest).
Source: NRA website 02n-NRA on Dec 31, 2003
National cross-state standard for concealed carry.
Cole signed H.R.197&S.845
Establishes a national standard for the carrying of concealed firearms (other than a machinegun or destructive device) by non-residents. Authorizes a person who has a valid permit to carry a concealed firearm in one state and who is not prohibited from carrying a firearm under federal law to carry a concealed firearm in another state:
Source: National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act 09-HR197 on Jan 6, 2009
Notwithstanding any law of any State, a person who is not prohibited by Federal law from possessing a firearm and is carrying a valid license to carry a concealed firearm may carry in another State a concealed firearm.
- If such other State issues licenses to carry concealed firearms, the person may carry a concealed firearm in the State under the same restrictions which apply in that State.
- If such other State does not issue licenses to carry concealed firearms, the person may not carry a concealed firearm in a police station, in a courthouse, at a meeting of a governing body, in a school, at an athletic event, in an establishment licensed to dispense alcoholic beverages, or inside an airport, except to the extent expressly permitted by State law.
Loosen restrictions on interstate gun purchases.
Cole co-sponsored Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act
Congressional Summary:Amends the federal criminal code to:allow licensed firearms dealers to sell or deliver any firearm (currently, rifles or shotguns) to any state if the licensee meets with the purchaser and the transaction complies with the laws of the state in which the transfer is conducted and the purchaser's state of residence; and eliminate the requirement that a licensee must conduct business at a gun show only in the state that is specified on the licensee's license.Nothing in this Act shall prohibit the sale of a firearm or ammunition between licensed firearms dealers at any location in any state.
Proponent's Comments (NRA-ILA, Oct. 14, 2011): This bill would remove several antiquated and unnecessary restrictions imposed on interstate firearms business since 1968:
Source: HR58/S1691 11-H0058 on Oct 12, 2011
- Virtually all interstate transfers directly between private citizens are banned; so are nearly all interstate handgun sales by licensed dealers.
- Firearms dealers may only do business at their licensed premises or (since 1986) at gun shows in their own state.
- Dealers may not even transfer firearms to one another face to face, away from their business premises.
Allow veterans to register unlicensed guns acquired abroad.
Cole co-sponsored Veterans' Heritage Firearms Act
Source: HR420/S798 11-HR0420 on Jan 25, 2011
- Provides a 90-day amnesty period during which veterans and their family members can register in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record any firearm acquired before October 31, 1968, by a veteran while a member of the Armed Forces stationed outside the continental United States.
- Grants such an individual limited immunity with respect to the acquisition, possession, transportation, or alteration of such firearm before or concurrent with such registration.
Extends such immunity to a veteran who attempts to register a qualifying firearm outside of the amnesty period if the veteran surrenders the firearm within 30 days after being notified of potential criminal liability for continued possession.
- Transfers each firearm qualifying as a curio or relic which has been forfeited to the United States to the first qualified museum that requests it
- Publishes information identifying each such firearm which is available to be transferred to a museum.
- Makes a prohibition against transfer or possession of a machine-gun inapplicable to museums.
Recognize heritage of hunting & shooting on federal lands.
Cole signed Recreational Fishing & Hunting Heritage & Opportunities Act
A BILL: To recognize the heritage of recreational fishing, hunting, and shooting on Federal public lands and ensure continued opportunities for these activities.
Congress finds that:THEREFORE:
- recreational fishing and hunting are important and traditional activities in which millions of Americans participate
- recreational anglers and hunters have been and continue to be among the foremost supporters of sound fish and wildlife management and conservation in the US
- recreational fishing and hunting are environmentally acceptable and beneficial activities that occur and can be provided on Federal public lands and waters without adverse effects
- recreational anglers, hunters, and sporting organizations provide direct assistance to fish and wildlife managers and enforcement officers by investing volunteer time and effort to fish and wildlife conservation
- recreational anglers & hunters, and the associated industries have generated billions of dollars of critical funding by
providing revenues from purchases of fishing and hunting licenses, permits, and stamps, as well as excise taxes on fishing, hunting, and shooting equipment
- recreational shooting is also an important and traditional activity in which millions of Americans participate, safe recreational shooting is a valid use of Federal public lands, and participation in recreational shooting helps recruit and retain hunters and contributes to wildlife conservation
Source: H.R.2834 11-HR2834 on Sep 2, 2011
- the public interest would be served, and our citizens' fish and wildlife resources benefitted, by action to ensure that opportunities are facilitated to engage in fishing and hunting on Federal public land
- Subject to valid existing rights, Federal public land management officials shall exercise their authority under existing law, including provisions regarding land use planning, to facilitate use of and access to Federal public lands and waters for fishing & sport hunting.
Voted NO on background check for every firearm sale.
Cole voted NAY the Bipartisan Background Checks Act
H.R.8: To require a background check for every firearm sale. This Act may be cited as the "Background Check Expansion Act".
- It shall be unlawful for any person who is not a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer to transfer a firearm to any other person who is not so licensed [and conducted a background check].
- The [restrictions] shall not apply to any law enforcement officer, or member of the armed forces, or bona fide gift between spouses, between parents and their children, or between siblings or [immediate family members].
- Temporary transfers [are allowed] if the transferor has no reason to believe that the transferee will use or intends to use the firearm in a crime or is prohibited from possessing firearms; at a shooting range; or while reasonably necessary for the purposes of hunting.
Opposing argument from the Heritage Foundation, 2/26/2019: Heritage Action opposes the Bipartisan Background Checks Act
(H.R. 8) and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard. This legislation would require universal background checks for all firearm sales (even private) with specific exceptions. Unfortunately, universal background checks would do little to prevent firearm violence and would instead make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to purchase, own, carry, and use a firearm. Studies show that universal background checks are largely ineffective when it comes to preventing mass shootings. In addition, most people imprisoned for firearm-related crimes access their firearms illegally through theft, the underground market, family members, or friends. H.R. 8 is poorly written and makes criminals out of many law-abiding Americans who commonly make low-risk firearm transfers.
Legislative outcome Roll call 99 in House on 2/27/2019 passed 240-190-2; introduced in Senate 1/8/2019; no action as of 3/28/2020.
Source: Congressional vote 19-HR0008 on Feb 27, 2019
Ban gun registration & trigger lock law in Washington DC.
Cole co-sponsored banning gun registration & trigger lock law in Washington DC
- Nothing in any provision of law shall authorize the Mayor, or any governmental authority of the District of Columbia, to prohibit possessing firearms by a person who is allowed to possess firearms under federal law.
- Denies the District any authority to enact laws or regulations that discourage or eliminate the private ownership or use of firearms.
- Repeals the ban on semiautomatic weapons.
- Repeals the District's registration requirement for possession of firearms.
- Repeals the trigger lock law.
- Maintains the current ban on the possession and control of a sawed-off shotgun, machine gun, or short-barreled rifle.
- Eliminates criminal penalties for possessing an unregistered firearm.
- Specifies exceptions to the prohibition against carrying concealed weapons in the District.
Source: D.C. Personal Protection Act (H.R.1399/S.1001) 2007-S1001 on Mar 27, 2007
Allow reloading spent military small arms ammunition.
Cole signed Affordable Reloaded Munitions Supply (ARMS) Act
Prohibits the Secretary of Defense from implementing any policy that would prevent or place undue restriction on the sale of intact spent military small arms ammunition casings to domestic manufacturers of small arms ammunition that are approved under trade security controls.
Source: H.R.2193 2009-H2193 on Apr 30, 2009
Voted NO on background checks for private transfers.
Cole voted NAY Background Check Expansion Act
H.R.8 - Bipartisan Background Checks Act: This bill establishes new background check requirements for firearm transfers between private parties (i.e., unlicensed individuals). Specifically, it prohibits a firearm transfer between private parties unless a licensed gun dealer, manufacturer, or importer first takes possession of the firearm to conduct a background check. The prohibition does not apply to gifts between spouses in good faith.
Heritage Action opinion to vote NO (Feb. 26, 2019): This legislation would require universal background checks for all firearm sales (even private). Unfortunately, universal background checks would do little to prevent firearm violence and would instead make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to purchase, own, carry, and use a firearm. Studies show that universal background checks are largely ineffective when it comes to preventing mass shootings.
In 19 of the most recent high-profile cases, the shooters bought their firearms legally and passed all the required background checks.
White House Statement (Biden's opinion to vote YES): Gun violence is a public health crisis. Every day, gun violence--community violence, domestic violence, suicides, and mass shootings--takes American lives and forever alters many more. Last year, we saw record levels of homicides in cities throughout our country. The Federal gun background check system is a proven tool to reduce gun violence and save lives. This system, called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, has kept millions of guns out of potentially dangerous hands. The Administration encourages closing existing loopholes in this system [such as private transfers in H.R. 8].
Legislative Outcome: Passed House 227-203-1 on 03/11/2021 (rollcall #75); introduced in Senate with 36 co-sponsors; no further Senate action during 2021.
Source: Congressional vote 21-S529 on Mar 1, 2021
2021-22 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Gun Control:
Tom Cole on other issues:
|Republican Freshman class of 2021:
AL-1: Jerry Carl(R)
AL-2: Barry Moore(R)
CA-8: Jay Obernolte(R)
CA-50: Darrell Issa(R)
CO-3: Lauren Boebert(R)
FL-3: Kat Cammack(R)
FL-15: Scott Franklin(R)
FL-19: Byron Donalds(R)
GA-9: Andrew Clyde(R)
GA-14: Marjorie Taylor Greene(R)
IA-2: Mariannette Miller-Meeks(R)
IA-4: Randy Feenstra(R)
IL-15: Mary Miller(R)
IN-5: Victoria Spartz(R)
KS-1: Tracey Mann(R)
KS-2: Jake LaTurner(R)
LA-5: Luke Letlow(R)
MI-3: Peter Meijer(R)
MI-10: Lisa McClain(R)
MT-0: Matt Rosendale(R)
NC-11: Madison Cawthorn(R)
NM-3: Teresa Leger Fernandez(D)
NY-2: Andrew Garbarino(R)
NY-22: Claudia Tenney(R)
OR-2: Cliff Bentz(R)
PR-0: Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon(R)
TN-1: Diana Harshbarger(R)
TX-4: Pat Fallon(R)
TX-11: August Pfluger(R)
TX-13: Ronny Jackson(R)
TX-17: Pete Sessions(R)
TX-22: Troy Nehls(R)
TX-23: Tony Gonzales(R)
TX-24: Beth Van Duyne(R)
UT-1: Blake Moore(R)
VA-5: Bob Good(R)
WI-5: Scott Fitzgerald(R)
Incoming Democratic Freshman class of 2021:
CA-53: Sara Jacobs(D)
GA-5: Nikema Williams(D)
GA-7: Carolyn Bourdeaux(D)
HI-2: Kai Kahele(D)
IL-3: Marie Newman(D)
IN-1: Frank Mrvan(D)
MA-4: Jake Auchincloss(D)
MO-1: Cori Bush(D)
NC-2: Deborah Ross(D)
NC-6: Kathy Manning(D)
NY-15: Ritchie Torres(D)
NY-16: Jamaal Bowman(D)
NY-17: Mondaire Jones(D)
WA-10: Marilyn Strickland(D)
Republican takeovers as of 2021:
CA-21: David Valadao(R)
defeated T.J. Cox(D)
CA-39: Young Kim(R)
defeated Gil Cisneros(D)
CA-48: Michelle Steel(R)
defeated Harley Rouda(D)
FL-26: Carlos Gimenez(R)
defeated Debbie Mucarsel-Powell(D)
FL-27: Maria Elvira Salazar(R)
defeated Donna Shalala(D)
IA-1: Ashley Hinson(R)
defeated Abby Finkenauer(D)
MN-7: Michelle Fischbach(R)
defeated Collin Peterson(D)
NM-2: Yvette Herrell(R)
defeated Xochitl Small(D)
NY-11: Nicole Malliotakis(R)
defeated Max Rose(D)
OK-5: Stephanie Bice(R)
defeated Kendra Horn(D)
SC-1: Nancy Mace(R)
defeated Joe Cunningham(D)
UT-4: Burgess Owens(R)
defeated Ben McAdams(D)
Special Elections 2021-2022:
CA-22: replacing Devin Nunes (R, SPEL summer 2022)
FL-20: replacing Alcee Hastings (D, SPEL Jan. 2022)
LA-2: Troy Carter (R, April 2021)
LA-5: Julia Letlow (R, March 2021)
NM-1: Melanie Stansbury (D, June 2021)
OH-11: Shontel Brown (D, Nov. 2021)
OH-15: Mike Carey (R, Nov. 2021)
TX-6: Jake Ellzey (R, July 2021)
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