Second Amendment

The 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Over the years, this amendment has brought much discussion, but it has remained part of our Constitution since it was ratified along with the first ten Amendments (the Bill of Rights) effective December 15, 1791. In June 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that there is an individual right to keep and bear arms, as outlined in the 2nd Amendment.  To read the decision inDistrict of Columbia v Heller, please click here(PDF format).

As such, I am a strong supporter of the rights provided under the 2nd Amendment and do not support gun control.  We must protect and preserve our constitutional right to bear arms.  I firmly believe this provision prohibits the federal government from denying citizens this right.  I will not support any legislation that requires a waiting period for the purchase of a firearm, bans the ownership of firearms, promotes or requires the rationing or taxation of firearms or the taxation of ammunition.

I also strongly support efforts to encourage gun safety. It is important that those using firearms do so in a responsible manner. In December 2007, I led an effort in the U.S. Senate to make firearm regulations on public lands consistent.  To read the letter about this issue, signed by 47 Senators to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, please click here (PDF format).

Gun control advocates continue to seek creative methods of advancing their agenda, both through legislation and litigation.  I will continue to oppose all efforts to weaken Second Amendment rights.