Feb 13 2017
Senate Resolution Would Protect Constitutional Rights
President Trump’s impressive Supreme Court nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, has been widely praised for his steadfast defense of Americans’ constitutional rights. As many Mississippians know, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” is among these fundamental freedoms.
The Supreme Court has considered two cases in recent years that directly relate to the Second Amendment. In both decisions by a vote of 5-4, the Court upheld the right of law-abiding citizens to own guns. These slim victories, however, did not stop the Obama Administration from infringing on Americans’ Second Amendment rights through new laws and regulations. I opposed these misguided gun restrictions during the past Administration and now have an opportunity to help overturn them.
House Votes to Repeal Obama Overreach
Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed a Congressional Review Act resolution striking down an ill-conceived gun-control rule issued during the Obama Administration. The rule goes far beyond any arguably reasonable regulations on gun ownership, bypassing the judicial process when reporting individuals to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Instead, certain disabled persons are automatically reported to NICS simply because they rely on a “representative payee” to manage their Social Security disability benefits. Individuals reported to NICS then have to prove they are not “dangerous” before having their Second Amendment rights restored. In effect, the rule allows a federal agency to deny an individual’s right to due process and potentially his or her Second Amendment rights.
I am a cosponsor of the Senate resolution to overturn this rule, which is expected to be considered soon. Simply put, I believe we can successfully work to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals, terrorists, and those deemed to be a harm to themselves or others and, at the same time, protect Americans’ constitutional rights.
Bills to Eliminate Unnecessary Red Tape
Other bills I am supporting in the Senate are designed to enact sensible measures for law-abiding gun owners. One would allow individuals to make use of lawfully-obtained concealed carry permits when traveling to other states with concealed carry laws. Introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), the “Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act” would give gun owners the freedom to use their concealed carry permits in other parts of the country, so long as the jurisdiction recognizes the permit as lawful.
Another bill I am cosponsoring would remove unnecessary red tape and the $200 tax stamp on sound suppressors for firearms. Having a suppressor on a firearm can protect the hearing of sportsmen, just as mufflers serve as safety features on other tools to minimize noise. Under this bill, suppressors would be subject to the same requirements as long guns. Those who are able to purchase a gun should not have to jump additional hurdles to buy this device.
I remain committed to working on behalf of Mississippians to protect our constitutional freedoms. That commitment applies to confirming justices to the Supreme Court who have shown a faithfulness to the Constitution and the laws of our land. It also means writing and supporting laws that respect our founding principles.