By Justin Sink
White House press secretary Jay Carney on Wednesday defended Joe Biden's suggestion that those concerned about home security should "buy a shotgun," calling the vice president's comments in line with the administration's policy on Second Amendment rights.
"The president does agree with the vice president, that homeowners who are interested in utilizing their Second Amendment rights to own a firearm to protect themselves in their home, and their families in their home, do not need a military-style assault weapon, and that a shotgun would be a logical choice," Carney said at the White House briefing on Wednesday.
"If you want to protect yourself, get a double-barrel shotgun," Biden said. "You don't need an AR-15. It's harder to aim, it's harder to use and, in fact, you don't need 30 rounds to protect yourself. Buy a shotgun. Buy a shotgun."
Biden noted during the forum that he owned two shotguns at his Delaware home, and on Wednesday, Carney told reporters that the vice president's collection includes a 12-gauge and a 20-gauge model. Carney also said Biden was attempting to convey in his comments the administration's support for gun owners' rights.
"The president's comprehensive package of proposals to address the problem of gun violence in America would not — if all of them were implemented, the executive actions and the legislation, if it all happened tomorrow, not a single law-abiding American citizen would lose his or her firearm," Carney said. "And that's because we believe in Second Amendment rights."
Carney refused an opportunity to elaborate on Biden's history as a gun owner or provide details on whether his wife, Jill, had used the weapons, referring questions to Biden's office.
The Obama administration has proposed a package of legislation aimed at reducing gun violence in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., elementary school shooting that left 20 schoolchildren and six educators dead. The administration's proposals include an updated assault weapons ban, limits on magazine capacities, universal background checks and expanded federal research into gun violence.