Second Amendment and Gun Rights
The Second Amendment is one of the most important rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. The operative text states that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms…shall not be infringed.” In spite of the clarity of this amendment, we have seen repeated, consistent, and sustained attacks on this right and efforts across the spectrum to “infringe” on this individual right.
In the Federalist No. 46, James Madison explained that because American citizens were typically armed, the federal government would be unable to exert power beyond the powers enumerated in the Constitution. Madison explained that in contrast to European nations where “the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms” the United States would rely on an armed citizenry to protect themselves, their families, and the nation.
The founders intended the Second Amendment to function as a citizen check against overreach in the event that the government started to take away civil rights guaranteed in the Constitution. In keeping with my oath of office to protect and defend our founding charter, I will not support unconstitutional gun restriction laws. I will actively fight any attempt by this Administration to undermine our Constitution and infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. With the attack on personal gun-ownership, the Second Amendment, and our God-given rights, the Obama-Biden Administration has been relentless in their pursuit of taking guns away from law-abiding Americans.
This President and the anti-gun lobby continue to ignore the fact that violence is driven by a number of different factors, and that experience has shown gun control does not curb violent acts. There is no easy answer to the problem of violence we face in our country, but inhibiting the ability of law-abiding citizens to exercise their Constitutional rights is nothing more than window dressing. One needs to look no further than the states with the toughest restrictions on firearms to see that they are the ones consistently ranking the highest in violent crime. When you limit an individual’s ability to lawfully purchase or carry firearms you are allowing only those with the intent to break the law to have weapons.
I have been a life-long supporter of responsible gun ownership. I have also been a hunter for most of my life, and I am well aware of our rights and duties relative to firearms. We must remain vigilant and enforce all of our constitutional rights, not simply pick and choose the ones we like. Our fundamental and inherent rights are not dependent upon which president, or which Congress, is in office.
I have been a leader in the House of Representatives on Second Amendment rights and we have made significant progress in opposing efforts to restrict, infringe, or remove this constitutionally-protected right. For my leadership and action on these issues, I have a career grade of “A” with the National Rifle Association of America (NRA).
Fighting Obama's Unconstitutional Gun Grabs
Unfortunately, the Obama Administration has taken unprecedented steps to bypass Congress and infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of U.S. citizens. On January 5, 2016 the president announced a new wave of forthcoming executive actions on gun control. The announcement of this likely unconstitutional executive order will likely violate the separation of powers and likely create a defacto law without the consent of Congress that attempts to prosecute American citizens under new mandates that have already been rejected by Congress. Even Obama has previously stated that he does not have the Constitutional authority to introduce gun control without the consent of Congress. Furthermore, his far-left proposals have been resoundingly debunked as foolish and would not have stopped any of the major shootings that took place during his tenure. Gun violence is committed by criminals; yet the focus of this executive order is on restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens. Elements of the executive order will even unjustly strip some Social Security recipients of their Second Amendment rights. Whether it is blind ignorance or intentional deceit, President Obama’s actions will sabotage the safety of countless Americans in order to score political points with the far-left.
The president’s latest partisan attack on the Second Amendment represents the pinnacle in a legacy of lawlessness. The Obama Administration has been relentless in their pursuit of taking guns away from law-abiding Americans. Republicans and Democrats, along with the American people, have already blocked the president’s gun control proposals three different times. I have and will continue to actively fight any attempt by this Administration to undermine our Constitution and infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. I passed an amendment through the House in June 2015 reversing the ATF ban on 7N6 ammunition, therefore restoring Second Amendment rights and preserving access to affordable ammunition for sporting purposes. This Gosar amendment was supported by the NRA and Gun Owners of America. There is no easy answer to the problem of violence we face in our country, but inhibiting the ability of law-abiding citizens to exercise their Constitutional rights is nothing more than window dressing. One needs to look no further than the states with the toughest restrictions on firearms to see that they are the ones consistently ranking the highest in violent crime. When you limit an individual’s ability to lawfully purchase or carry firearms you are allowing only those with the intent to break the law to have weapons. Click HERE to read more.
Separation of Powers Restoration and Second Amendment Protection Act
In January 2015, I joined several of my colleagues in introducing the Separation of Powers Restoration and Second Amendment Protection Act, H.R. 4321. This legislation blocks any executive actions that violate the Second Amendment or infringe on Congress’s Article I responsibilities. The bill also allows for civil action to be initiated in district courts to challenge such executive actions.
National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act
I am a cosponsor of H.R. 402, the National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act. This commonsense legislation allows individuals with a concealed carry permit in one state to have that permit honored in another state that allows concealed carry.
The Second Amendment Defense Act
I am also a cosponsor of the Second Amendment Defense Act. This commonsense bill rejects the Obama Administration’s unacceptable violations of the Second Amendment and prohibits any new executive orders that restrict the Second Amendment.
The Lawful Purpose and Self Defense Act
In June, I joined several of my colleagues in introducing H.R. 2710, the Lawful Purpose and Self Defense Act. This bill is endorsed by the NRA and prevents ATF from arbitrarily reclassifying popular rifle ammunition as armor piercing ammunition. This legislation also allows for lawful non-NFA firearm and ammunition to be imported and sold in the U.S. This bill also prevents shotguns, shotgun shells, and larger caliber rifles from being arbitrarily reclassified as destructive devices.
The Hearing Protection Act
I am a cosponsor of H.R. 3799, the Hearing Protection Act, introduced by my Arizona colleague Matt Salmon. This legislation removes the current unreasonable restrictions on the purchase of silencers under the National Firearms Act. Instead, the bill requires that sound suppressors be treated as ordinary firearms and subject to the typical NICS check.
The DC Personal Protection Reciprocity Act
I am also an original cosponsor of H.R. 4348, the DC Personal Protection Reciprocity Act, introduced by my Arizona colleague David Schweikert. This legislation ensures that law-abiding citizens have the right to protect and defend themselves in our nation’s capital by allowing individuals with a lawful concealed carry permit to lawfully carry registered firearms in the District of Columbia.
Ending Operation Choke Point
I cosponsored H.R. 1413, the Firearms Manufacturers and Dealers Protection Act and H.R. 766, the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act. Each measure makes conducting or facilitating Operation Choke Point illegal. Operation Choke Point was an unconstitutional program created by the Obama Administration that put pressure on banks and payment processors to shut down industries that President Obama and Attorney General didn’t like. In February of 2016, the full House of Representatives passed H.R. 766 and my amendment. My commonsense amendment improved this worthwhile legislation and increased transparency by requiring that financial institutions provide notice to customers if their account is ordered to be terminated by federal banking regulators. Click HERE to read more
Gosar Amendment to Energy and Water Appropriations Act
I also successfully passed the “Gosar Amendment” to a previous Energy and Water Appropriations Bill that blocked the Army Corps of Engineers from instituting an unconstitutional provision banning self-defense carry on Corps’ land, which included 90,000 campsites, thousands of miles of hiking trails, and millions of acres of recreational land. Later, this provision became law. Click HERE to read more.
The Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies FY2016 Appropriations Act
In the CJS Appropriations Act for FY2016 alone, the House included/passed:
· A Gosar amendment reversing the ATF ban on 7N6 ammunition, therefore restoring Second Amendment rights and preserving access to affordable ammunition for sporting purposes. This Gosar amendment was supported by the NRA and Gun Owners of America. Click HERE to read more.
· A Gosar-requested rider that prohibiting funds to implement the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty.
· A Gosar-supported provision permanently prohibiting funds for Fast and Furious like programs.
· A Gosar-supported provision permanently prohibiting the requirement for licenses to export firearms and parts to Canada;
· A Gosar-supported provision permanently prohibiting banning licenses for importing curio or relic firearms, parts, or ammunition;
· A Gosar-supported provision permanently prohibiting banning the importation of certain shotguns;
· A Gosar-supported rider prohibiting funds for an unauthorized reporting and registration requirement regarding the sale of multiple rifles to the same person in border states.
· A Gosar-supported rider prohibiting funds from being used to treat “green tip” ammo as armor piercing ammunition. I also helped lead an effort with 238 other members of Congress that caused ATF’s initial retreat on its proposed ban on green tip ammo.