After a history of indecisiveness surrounding gun rights, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson finally clarified his position on the importance of the Second Amendment.
The neurosurgeon made clear to the Blaze that he neither believes that gun control should be left up to local governments nor that semi-automatic ownership should be limited.
Carson told the Blaze on Tuesday that any uncertainty surrounding his dedication to the Second Amendment came from "political inexperience."
"Early on, when I entered the political arena and I was asked the question about guns, I didn't know at that time that you always start that off by saying how important the Second Amendment is and that you will never compromise that," Carson said.
"Instead, I started out talking about something that concerned me a lot and that was having dangerous weapons in the hands of mentally ill people and where that was most likely to occur. That was simply a matter of political inexperience," Carson continued. "It has nothing to do with the fact that, I think the reason we still have our freedom is because of the Second Amendment."
In 2013, after supporters called on him to run for president, some observers were unsure about Carson's dedication to gun rights after his response during an interview with Glenn Beck when he was asked about who should be able to own a semi-automatic weapon.
"It depends on where you live," Carson responded. "I think if you live in the midst of a lot of people and I'm afraid that that semi-automatic weapon might fall into the hands of a crazy person, I would rather you not have it. If you live out in the country somewhere by yourself, I have no problem."
During that same interview, when asked whether the local or federal government should make those rules, Carson said, "It would probably be a local."
He clarified his position this week, making clear that he does not think gun control is a local decision or that there should be limits on semi-automatic ownership.
"What I was trying to get across is that the place where dangerous weapons are most likely to fall into the hands of crazies are crowded places. They are not likely to happen in some remote place. But in no way do I think we should restrict the rights, particularly the rights of law-abiding citizens to have guns," Carson said.
He added that he believed the Second Amendment is crucial to America and allows citizens to defend against an aggressive government or take up arms to support the military.
"It doesn't do any good if people can only have peashooters," Carson concluded. "They need to have something that they can protect themselves."