Weekly Column: Protecting Idahoans' Second Amendment Rights
Guest column submitted by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo
The Second Amendment of our 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.” I firmly believe this provision prohibits the federal government from denying citizens this right. Burdening law-abiding citizens of this country with additional gun restrictions is not the answer to safeguarding the public.
As gun control advocates continue to seek creative methods of advancing their agenda, both through legislation and litigation, and the Administration has taken steps to target law-abiding gun owners instead of cracking down on perpetrators of rising crime across the country, I continue to oppose all efforts to weaken Second Amendment rights. I am taking a number of actions in this Congress to protect the Second Amendment:
- I reintroduced the Hearing Protection Act, which would reclassify suppressors to regulate them like a regular firearm. The measure would benefit Idaho’s recreational gun users by providing better access to hearing protection equipment.
- Along with fellow U.S. Senator for Idaho Jim Risch and 46 colleagues, I urged the Biden Administration to rescind its notice of proposed rulemaking targeting pistol braces. In June 2020, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) published a proposed rule that would make nearly all configurations of firearms with stabilizing braces subject to the taxation and registration requirements that would turn millions of law-abiding Americans into criminals overnight, and constitute the largest executive branch-imposed gun registration and confiscation scheme in American history.
- I joined Senate colleagues in reintroducing the Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) Protection Act of 2021 to address the increasing number of “smash-and-grab” thefts targeted at federally licensed gun dealers. In 2020, approximately 6,000 firearms were taken in nationwide FFL burglaries and robberies. This commonsense legislation is meant to deter thefts of firearms from licensed firearms dealers, importers and manufacturers by enhancing the criminal penalties for such offenses.
- Along with Senator Risch, I co-sponsored the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. This legislation would allow any person legally authorized to carry a concealed firearm in their home state to exercise that right in any other state that allows the practice.
- Senator Risch and I co-sponsored the ATF Accountability Act, which would create an appeals process for the firearms industry to ensure manufacturers are not subject to unchecked bureaucratic rulings and lawful gun owners are not left in the dark regarding the legal status of their firearms.
- We also co-sponsored the Protecting the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Act. This legislation would prevent the President from declaring gun violence an emergency to impose gun control.
- We recently urged President Biden to reject the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, which has garnered strong opposition in the U.S. Senate.
- I co-sponsored the Lawful Interstate Transportation of Firearms Act that would allow a person to transport a firearm or ammunition from any place where the person may lawfully possess or transport the firearm or ammunition to any other such place if, during the transportation, the firearm is unloaded and secured.
Over the years, the Second 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 there is an individual right to keep and bear arms, as outlined in the Second Amendment. We as Americans must protect and preserve our constitutional right to bear arms. I will continue to oppose all efforts to weaken Second Amendment rights and work to protect them in the U.S. Senate.
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