Issue Position: Second Amendment Issues
Second Amendment Issues
The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states in pertinent part that " the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed." I am a gun owner, a sportsman, and a long-time member of the National Rifle Association. As a United States Senator, I take seriously my role in protecting the fundamental right of U.S. citizens to bear arms.
In the Senate, I have consistently supported responsible legislation to protect Americans' constitutional right to bear arms. These initiatives have included a bill signed into law in December 2009 by President Obama which will allow AMTRAK passengers to transport handguns in their checked baggage in a similar fashion that airline passengers may transport firearms in checked baggage. I also recently cosponsored a measure to allow eligible individuals to carry concealed firearms across state lines with protections to prevent those who engage in criminal activity from doing so, and legislation to end an arbitrary process through which the government strips some veterans of their Second Amendment rights.
In addition to legislative initiatives, I have also sought to protect Second Amendment rights in a variety of ways. In 2008, I worked with a number of my colleagues to successfully call on the Department of Interior to allow citizens to carry firearms in accordance with state laws on certain public lands. I have jointly filed with other members of Congress amicus curiae ("friend of the court") briefs in both District of Columbia v. Heller, and McDonald v. Chicago, in support of citizens seeking to overturn gun bans in both cities.
The issue of gun usage in America understandably divides people, usually along the lines of those who believe any relaxation of gun laws will benefit criminal and violent activity, and those who believe that gun laws need to accommodate the ability of law-abiding Americans to defend themselves. I believe that carefully constructed gun laws can answer each of these concerns and serve all Americans fairly.
I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, and I will continue to examine all congressional legislation governing gun rights to ensure that public safety is protected while the constitutional rights of citizens are safeguarded.
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