Gun Control and Americans’ Second Amendment Rightsby Representative Adrian Smith
Posted on 2016-01-06
SMITH of Nebraska. I appreciate this opportunity to certainly
stand in support of our Second Amendment.
This is an issue that has obviously been around for some time. With the recent very violent events that have stricken various communities around our country, I think that the way the President has chosen to respond is ineffective. I think it is inappropriate, certainly an overreach by the President himself.
I believe that, as the President has chosen to operate without going to Congress or even attempting to work with Congress on many issues, but especially this one, it is disappointing.
We already have laws on the books that need enforcing. Those laws that we have I think can be effective.
Certainly, I don't think anyone will say that someone can just automatically go buy a gun without any effort whatsoever.
But, disappointingly, none of the President's recent unilateral actions targeting law-abiding citizens and restricting gun ownership would have prevented the tragedies that the President himself has referenced.
I would like to highlight one area of the executive order which falls under the jurisdiction of the committee on which I serve, the Ways and Means [[Page H98]] Committee, which is the President's proposal to have Social Security beneficiaries with representative payees included in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Now, let me say that the mismanagement of one's finances alone should not mean that an individual would lose their Second Amendment rights. I am concerned not only that this targets law-abiding citizens, but that it would also discourage some beneficiaries from seeking needed assistance for fear of losing their constitutional rights. Many similar views have been shared here earlier this evening.
Also, when the Los Angeles Times first reported consideration of the representative payee issue last summer, I joined the majority of the Ways and Means Committee members in writing to the President opposing this proposal.
Despite the administration's unwillingness so far to change its stance on representative payees, I remain hopeful we can scale back these orders.
Early last year, when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives proposed banning M855 ammunition, I was one of the 238 House Members who wrote the former ATF Director opposing the proposal, as did more than 80,000 Americans. Now, in response to massive public and congressional opposition, the ATF actually withdrew the proposal.
President Obama has repeatedly disregarded our legislative branch and the American people. The President's job is to respect all constitutional rights, not just the ones he chooses. His executive order sets an incredibly dangerous precedent.
I will continue to stand against this overreach and protect Nebraskans' and, quite frankly, all Americans' constitutional right to bear arms.
I thank the gentleman from Indiana for yielding me the time.