Local Republican congressional candidates in gun rights fight

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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GOP candidates gunning to succeed U.S. Rep. John Doolittle, R-Roseville, are all assuming stances as strong 2nd Amendment supporters. But state Sen. Tom McClintock and former 3rd District congressman Doug Ose are disagreeing over the level of support the other is giving. The other two lesser-known candidates — Suzanne Jones and Ted Terbolizard — are also proponents of 2nd amendment rights, with Terbolizard going so far as to say people should be allowed to have “anti-tank missiles.” The four candidates outlined their views during an appearance by candidates at a meeting of the Auburn Area Republican Women Federated in Auburn. Ose said he is a life member of the National Rifle Association and supported strongly by law enforcement. “There are situations where certain individuals shouldn’t have weapons,” Ose said. “For instance, criminals.” Ose said he would like to make sure that criminals couldn’t acquire weapons “on the sly.” Ose added he had received the endorsement of several sheriffs, including Placer County’s Ed Bonner. “I don’t think any of them endorsed you,” he said, turning to look at McClintock. “What a coincidence.” McClintock said that while Ose claims to be a strong supporter of the NRA, his votes didn’t reflect that. Ose received a “D+” rating from the rifle association for his votes as a congressman, McClintock said, adding that he has an “A+” rating from the same group. McClintock said he “doesn’t see any exception” from the 2nd Amendment. “Every individual born into this world has a right to defend himself and his family from invaders from outside or inside the country,” McClintock said. “We all want to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. But the problem is, they’re criminals and they’re going to acquire them despite the law.” Terbolizard said during last Friday’s appearance before the Republican Women that coming from Nevada County’s rural San Juan area, he sees the benefits of having firearms for protection. “Everyone has a right to own as many as they like,” he said, adding that he’s not a gun owner. “There are almost no gun homicides in the mountains.” Jones said that the biggest problem she sees is that current gun laws aren’t being enforced. “If you take away the guns, the only ones who will have them will be the criminals,” Jones said. Ose and McClintock, the two most high-profile candidates for the Republican nomination in the June 3 primary, will take the stage for a debate Wednesday night in Rocklin held by the Lincoln Club of Placer County. Admission is free with online registration. The Web address is The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached at or comment at