There seems to be a fairly widespread claim that,

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said "I certainly hope" voting on a bill regulating or banning "bump stocks" will be a slippery slope toward further gun restrictions.

Upon being asked if the bill was a slippery slope toward further gun restrictions, she said, "So what? … I certainly hope so." (source)

I'm somewhat skeptical since:

  • The claim seems to mostly be on right wing blogs and I wasn't able to find it in any major news outlets or Pelosi's own web page.

  • It's a typical party line for mainline Democrats that they are only looking for specific "sensible" gun control measures and that the slippery slope accusation is merely a paranoia on the part of pro-second-amendment people. Hard to believe someone as highly placed as Pelosi would slip up so much (no pun intended).

Did she say that she hopes that this proposed ban is a slippery slope to further gun restrictions?


1 Answer 1


Fox News has a video showing the quote. Their transcript:

"They’re going to say, 'You give them bump stock, it's going to be a slippery slope.' I certainly hope so," she told a reporter at a news conference.

The entire news conference is available on Youtube (the link goes to the timecode of the relevant question). My transcript:

[In response to a question:] We've said where we'd like to go, and that is to a bipartisan place, a bipartisan bill: King-Thompson for background checks. Now there are background checks, but there are loopholes - whether they are online sales or gunshow sales, but a lot can happen for people who shouldn't be getting guns. And we have evidence that having the background checks has prevented hundreds of thousands if not a couple million sales from not happening. That could have caused deaths. So as I've said, many people who are serious gun owners say "I've a background check, they should have a background check too".

But we can't ... So what? They're gonna say you give them bump stocks, it's going to be a slippery slope? I certainly hope so. But I don't think bump stock should be a substitute for the background check. And by the way, the background check is a compromise. There are many more things members want to do and we're saying "How do we save the most lives?" We save the most lives with the background check. [...]

The answer itself only refers to what can be considered "sensible" gun control measures, specifically background checks. Seeing the entire quote, I don't think that Pelosi meant to imply that she hopes that this will lead to unreasonable gun control (taking away all guns, etc).

  • Actually, what is she saying in that second paragraph with regards to bump stocks? I can't make heads or tails of it. Oct 13, 2017 at 6:11
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    @eyeballfrog She definitely didn't phrase the answer very well. I think it's along the line of "We openly fought for background checks in the past, and we shouldn't be satisfied with only the less helpful bump stock regulations now (ie we want it, but it's not a valid substitute for actually required "sensible" regulations)"
    – tim
    Oct 13, 2017 at 6:22

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