With Joe Biden establishing a White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s attempt to unilaterally suspend the right to carry through a declared public health emergency on “gun violence” still fresh in their minds, a group of GOP Senate and House members are moving to head off any similar move from the president and his anti-gun administration.
Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana and more than a dozen of his colleagues have introduced the “Protecting the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Act of 2023”, which Braun says would end the threat of using a declared state of emergency to infringe on the right to keep and bear arms. The legislation would prohibit the president, a designee, or the Secretary of Health and Human Services from “declaring an emergency pursuant to the National Emergencies Act or major disaster pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act in order to impose gun control,” as well as barring government officials from prohibiting the manufacture sale, or transfer of firearms or ammunition during a declared disaster or emergency.
The Protecting the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Act is cosponsored by Senators Thom Tillis, Kevin Cramer, Jim Risch, Mike Crapo, Cynthia Lummis, Joni Ernst, Cindy Hyde-Smith, John Hoeven, Steve Daines, Ted Budd, Roger Wicker, Rick Scott, Tom Cotton, Josh Hawley, John Thune, Mike Rounds, Joni Ernst, Markwayne Mullin, Ted Cruz, and JD Vance.
“It’s simple: terrorist attacks are national emergencies, and pandemics are public health emergencies; guns are neither. Using legitimate presidential power as a backdoor to violate the Second Amendment is disingenuous at best and diminishes the gravity of real emergencies,” said Senator Cramer.
“The illegal action by the Governor of New Mexico to suspend the 2nd Amendment through a public health emergency should be concerning to every American,” said Senator Tillis. “I am deeply concerned that this stunt might be replicated on the national level by a left-wing politician in an effort to enact gun control, and Congress must take action to prevent that from ever happening. I am proud to co-introduce this legislation that would stop that from ever happening so we can protect the Constitutional rights of North Carolinians.”
“The unconstitutional actions by the governor of New Mexico demonstrate a clear need for our legislation, which would protect the second amendment rights of law-abiding Americans and prevent the president and HHS Secretary from issuing a similar, overreaching public health emergency,” said Senator John Hoeven.
“Democrats seem confused, but the Constitution is clear – the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,”said Daines.“Washington bureaucrats will do anything to promote their gun-grabbing agenda, including abusing public health emergencies. I won’t stand for it, and I will always protect Montanans’ Second Amendment rights.”
“No emergency declaration will fix the senseless policies that are fueling the violent crime surge in blue cities and states. The use of such a declaration would be an abuse of the power to declare emergencies, violate the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners, and, worse, further erode public confidence in those who govern them,” Hyde-Smith said.
“Abusing national and public health emergency powers for purposes of exercising excessive government control to strip Americans’ Second Amendment right is a clear attempt to circumvent the U.S. Constitution,” said Crapo. “We must not allow creative government bureaucrats to abridge this right while we seek to prevent violence perpetrated by criminals.”
As Fox News reports, companion legislation has been introduced in the House as well, with Rep. Michael Cloud serving as the main sponsor.
This should be popular enough to pass the House (and possibly the Senate as well), but given the current political infighting among the GOP who knows whether or not the bill will be moved forward to the floor for a full vote, or if one of the factions in the House would try to torpedo the bill for one reason or another. It’s absolutely critical that gun owners and Second Amendment supporters contact their senators and representatives and urge them to get behind the Protecting the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Act of 2023. At the very least every member of Congress should be made to go on the record in support or opposition to the kind of unconstitutional carry ban imposed by Grisham. If Democrats want to support an action that’s not only a violation of our Second Amendment rights but incredibly unpopular across the political spectrum, then let’s shine a spotlight on their eagerness to infringe on our fundamental right to armed self-defense.