It has become an unfortunate theme in Washington - every time a crisis or tragedy hits this nation, Washington Democrats spring into action to exploit that situation to grow the power of government.
In response to the current economic crisis of their own making, Democrats choose higher taxes; in response to the energy crisis, they choose new, less reliable energy sources over affordable energy coupled with new limits and regulations on oil and gas; in response to a border crisis, they choose open borders and government incentives for illegal immigration. Every solution they propose will only inflame the crises we face, but every solution also has one thing in common: they are liberal wish list items that have existed for decades.
So it should come as no surprise that the party that has for years tried to ban or limit access to guns is exploiting a tragedy to put forward new proposals to ban or limit access to firearms. Last week, in response to the killing of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas, House Democrats passed anti-gun legislation that should concern law-abiding gun owners everywhere. President Biden and liberal Democrats are pushing their radical agenda to try and turn Americans against each other, villainizing gun owners and firearms instead of holding accountable the disturbed criminals who are carrying out despicable acts of violence.
As a staunch advocate for the Second Amendment, I was proud to vote against their anti-gun legislation. I will never go along with Washington Democrats’ attempts to take away your constitutional right to bear arms. A right, that our Constitution directly states Congress should make no law to infringe upon.
Many in southern Missouri, including myself, grew up around firearms. Our parents taught us how to hunt and shoot sporting clays well before we learned to drive a car. We know how to safely operate and responsibly store a gun. We know that firearms are the best tool for defending our homes and protecting our families from violent criminals. And most importantly, we know full well that Washington Liberals have no business – or legal authority – to force their unconstitutional agenda on law-abiding gun owners.
One proposal in Washington Democrats’ anti-gun agenda is a so-called federal “red flag” law. It would take away individuals’ due process rights, while allowing law enforcement to remove guns from individuals at the request of an expansive list of acquaintances. Red flag laws have a very disturbing track record; nearly one-third of gun confiscation orders are wrongly issued against innocent, law-abiding gun owners. In America, a person is innocent until proven guilty. But in the progressive dystopia that Liberal Democrats want to transform our nation into, the presumption of innocence - the foundation of our criminal justice system – does not apply to gun owners.
Another provision in Liberal Democrats’ legislation would violate Americans’ Second Amendment rights by making it illegal for adults under the age of 21 to purchase semiautomatic rifles and shotguns. Last month, A U.S. appeals court ruled that a California law banning the sale of semiautomatic weapons to adults under 21 was unconstitutional. In his ruling, Judge Ryan Nelson wrote, “America would not exist without the heroism of the young adults who fought and died in our revolutionary army. … Today we reaffirm that our Constitution still protects the right that enabled their sacrifice: the right of young adults to keep and bear arms.” I couldn’t agree more with Judge Nelson.
Washington Democrats’ anti-gun bills include a ban on a highly popular type of magazine. Under their proposal, it would be illegal to purchase magazines with a capacity of more than 15 rounds. From home defense to hunting hogs to sport shooting, higher capacity magazines are very popular among gun owners. Law-abiding citizens would be outmatched by criminals, who always find a way to illegally get their hands on guns or gun parts.
Progressives also want to dictate how you store your weapons in your own home. Violating their so-called “safe storage” measure from this proposal could result in the seizure and forfeiture of personally-owned firearms. In a dangerous situation, a few seconds can make the difference between life or death. In addition to infringing on Americans’ constitutional right to bear arms, the proposal is an egregious attempt to dictate what Americans can or cannot do in the privacy of their own home.
No matter how Washington Democrats try to spin it, their anti-gun agenda isn’t about stopping evil people from carrying out deadly, unspeakable crimes. They are simply trying to accomplish their decades-long goal of eliminating Americans’ constitutional right to bear arms.
I will always fight tooth and nail to protect Missouri families from Liberal Democrats’ relentless attacks on our freedom and way of life. O
Congressman Jason Smith (R-Salem) represents Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District. He can be reached by email at RepSmithPress@mail.house.gov.
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