Friday, January 8, 2016

Boozman: Protecting the Second Amendment

by U.S. Sen. John Boozman: Our founders emphasized the importance of the right to bear arms. As a strong supporter of this fundamental right, I am working to protect the Second Amendment.

This Congress I helped introduce the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015. This bill would allow individuals with concealed carry privileges in their home state to exercise those rights in any other state that also has concealed carry laws, while abiding by that state’s concealed carry laws.

While I’m working to uphold the Second Amendment through legislation and the judicial system, this constitutional right is under constant attack by the Obama administration.

Last year I took action to prevent erosion of this right by:

Preventing the implementation of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) proposal that would severely limit access to rifle ammunition primarily used for sporting purposes.
Urging the Secretary of State to modify or delay proposed changes to definitions in the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) which has the potential to limit Americans’ constitutionally-protected freedoms.
Calling on the Social Security Administration to drop its plan to deny Second Amendment rights of Americans who receive Social Security and disability benefits and use a representative payee to handle their finances.
Voting to fix the problems with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and increase resources and tools to combat violent crime using the laws already in place, all without infringing on the Second Amendment.
This week President Obama issued new gun control mandates. This continues his efforts to skirt Congress, which has already stopped his attack on the Constitution.

What he calls ‘common sense’ steps to reduce gun violence will do little to curb violent crime and certainly would not have prevented a single one of the tragic mass shootings our nation has recently endured.

The Senate has attempted to take real action to reduce gun violence by considering measures that would prevent terrorists from obtaining firearms, incentivize states to provide mental health records for background checks and criminalize straw purchasing and weapons trafficking in a responsible way. Unfortunately, the President’s own party blocked these real common sense measures from moving forward in the Senate.

If the President wanted to take a serious approach to reducing violent crime, he would work with Congress to pass real mental health reform and violent crime reduction initiatives and he would instruct the Justice Department to do more to enforce the laws already on the books. In fact, the number of gun crime convictions U.S. Attorneys have secured have been on the decline since the President has taken office. They dropped dramatically the year after the Sandy Hook tragedy and have continued to drop each year since, despite President Obama's pledge to combat violent crime and get tougher on people who illegally buy guns.

Instead, he has proposed more window dressing and red tape that will increase the burden on law-abiding citizens and infringe on their Constitutionally-protected rights. This is not a serious proposal. It is little more than politicking and a last-ditch legacy-building effort.

On Wednesday the chairman of the Commerce, Justice, and Science Appropriations Subcommittee announced a hearing on the President’s executive actions and invited Attorney General Loretta Lynch to testify. As a member of this subcommittee, I am eagerly awaiting this opportunity to press the Attorney General on why the administration believes we should appropriate funds for its attempts to erode the Second Amendment.
As the details of these proposals are released, my colleagues and I will work to ensure that mandates that strip Second Amendment rights away from law-abiding Americans are not implemented.

Read more about my efforts to protect the Second Amendment.

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