Obama promises support for gun owner rights | SierraSun.com

Obama promises support for gun owner rights

Geoff Dornan
Sun News Service
Seth Lightcap / Sierra SunSen. Barack Obama on the University of Nevada, Reno campus Tuesday.
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RENO ” Sen. Barack Obama said Tuesday he is “a strong supporter of the Second Amendment” who will not try take Americans’ guns away if elected.

“I believe it’s an individual right,” he said in an interview following Tuesday’s speech at UNR. “Lawful gun owners have nothing to fear from an Obama Administration.”

But, Obama said, he is for “some common sense gun safety laws.” He said that means keeping weapons out of the hands of criminals, the mentally ill and children.

“And we need a system that makes sure we can trace guns back to the original owners and dealers.”

The Democratic presidential nominee said he believes the numbers of illegal immigrants coming to the U.S. can be sharply reduced.

“Instead of a flood of illegal immigrants, we could reduce that to a trickle,” he said.

And one key, according to the Illinois Democrat, would be “cracking down on employers who hire illegals.” He added that those employers too often abuse those workers, paying them less because of their illegal status.

And he said the illegals already living and working in the U.S. aren’t going away.

“I do think we’ve got to deal with the 12 million that we have.”

He said that would mean setting up a system for them to report, pay a fine, get a permit to remain in the U.S. and “get at the back of the line” for citizenship.

“We need a pathway to citizenship,” he said.

Obama repeated his opposition to the proposed nuclear dump at Yucca Mountain.

“I’m in favor of nuclear power,” he said. “I’m not in favor of dumping nuclear (waste) on a single state.”

He said he favors a “regional approach” for handling the waste ” especially because of the problems in safely transporting it.

“Senator John McCain says he’s for Yucca Mountain. But he doesn’t want the waste transported through Arizona,” said Obama shaking his head.

Asked whether his healthcare program would include changing, reducing or eliminating the legal immunity HMOs and other insurers have from patient lawsuits, he said: “We need to place new requirements on insurers that are wrongly denying benefits.”

But, he said, “We need a bigger overhaul than that. Costs are out of control.”