Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRepublicans struggle to save funding for Trump's border wall Rubio: Dropping FARC from terrorist list threatens Colombians, US security This Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead MORE (R-Fla.) says gun laws have never worked and is urging fellow Republicans to defend Second Amendment rights.
“We must always be the party that protects the Second Amendment,” the 2016 contender said during the Sunshine Summit in Orlando on Friday.
“Gun laws fail everywhere they’re tried,” he added. "Law-abiding people follow the laws, while criminals don’t.
“The nation already has a Democrat Party [and] we don’t need two Democrat Parties,” he continued.
In his address, Rubio offered a broad criticism of government.
“We know that every issue does not have its solution in government,” he said. "We were never supposed to have the government involved in K-12 education [and] that’s why we don’t need Common Core.
“There is no replacement for the family,” he continued. "It is the original government [and] the best school.
“Government cannot make you a better family member, a better husband or a better wife,” he added. "You can’t have a strong people without strong values. Government cannot remove that from you.”
Rubio also highlighted religious liberty, which he said was under threat from the federal government.
“We have a government that increasingly targets the faith community in this nation,” he said. "We have a tax code that discourages marriage.
“I will have a Justice Department that defends the rights and liberties of every single American. The only way forward is to re-embrace the principles that originally made us a great nation,” he added.
Rubio is currently among the top three contenders for next year’s Republican presidential nomination, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of polls.
Gun control is becoming a contentious issue on the 2016 trail after a string of recent mass shootings.
President Obama has repeatedly bemoaned congressional inaction on the issue, vowing he may pursue executive action instead.