Jim Bunning

Tuesday, December 1st, 1998

Congressman Jim Bunning of Kentucky, who was elected last month to the United States Senate in a close, hard-fought election, is the designated recipient of the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for December.

In nominating Bunning for the Award, John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said “it gives me great pleasure at this time, when so many people are thinking that Second Amendment supporters took it squarely on the chin in the November elections, to recommend a statesman like Jim Bunning for this distinction.

“Bunning is one public official who has a sterling pro-gun record of public service who rode on that record to success last month in the elections and, as a result, will be taking office in the Senate next month. There, he will be joining other pro-gun Senators in combatting the anti-gun onslaught in that body one can expect from the far out extremists like the Schumers and Boxers.

“I’m glad that Jim Bunning has had the courage to stand up for the right to keep and bear arms and glad also that he has had electoral success in doing so. He deserves the support and encouragement of millions of law-abiding American firearms owners, and he certainly deserves presentation of this Award.”

Just last month, Senator-elect Bunning wrote POINT BLANK that “I have always strongly supported the Second Amendment. The Founding Fathers wisely knew that the best way to protect democracy against an all-powerful government was to enshrine in the Constitution a right for citizens to bear arms and to defend themselves. That is a principle that has not changed over the past two hundred years. You can be sure that I will continue to fight and do whatever it takes to protect the rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment.”

Bunning has backed up his talk with action. During the 105th Congress, he co-sponsored H. R. 339, by Rep. Cliff Stearns of Florida, to provide that a citizen of any state who has a permit to carry a concealed firearm issued by any state may carry that firearm in any state.

He has shown his mettle in previous Congresses as well. On November 10, 1993, for instance, he not only voted against enactment of the Brady Bill, he voted also the pro-gun way on a number of amendments offered to that measure. He voted for a successful amendment requiring the police to notify anyone denied permission to purchase a handgun of the reason for the denial within 20 days. He voted for a successful amendment to sunset the mandatory national handgun purchase waiting period within five years even if the “instant check” second phase provision had not been in place. He voted for an unfortunately unsuccessful amendment which would have pre-empted all state waiting periods when the instant check system goes on line.

On August 11, 1994, Bunning voted for a successful move to block consideration of the Clinton Crime Bill which included the ban on certain semiautomatic firearms. On August 21, 1994, just 10 days later, after the measure had been politically resurrected, Bunning voted against its passage. Unfortunately, of course, it did pass.

Bunning was first elected to the U. S. Congress from Kentucky on November 4, 1986. Prior to that, he had served four years in the Kentucky State Senate and two years on the Fort Thomas, Kentucky City Council after a very successful career as a professional baseball player.

In fact, Bunning was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996. He had been a professional baseball player for over 20 years, from 1950 to 1971.

He was an investment banker and agent with McCloy-Watterston-Cowen from 1960 to 1985, and provided representation for professional athletes via the Jim Bunning Agency, Inc. from 1976 through 1988.

In the U. S. House of Representatives, Bunning served at various times on a number of committees, such as the Committee on Ways and Means, including chairmanship of its Subcommittee on Social Security, the Committee on the Budget, the Ethics Committee, the Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs, the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries, and the Executive Committee on Committees.

A resident of Southgate, Kentucky, Sen.-elect Bunning was born in Campbell County, Kentucky, was an honor graduate of St. Xavier High School in 1949, received a B.S. in Economy from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1953, and married the former Mary Catherine Theis in 1952. The couple has nine children, Barbara, Jim and Joan (twins), Cathy, Bill, Bridget, Mark, and David and Amy (twins), and 32 grandchildren.