PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF S. 397, PROTECTION OF LAWFUL COMMERCE IN ARMS ACT -- (House of Representatives - October 18, 2005)
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Mrs. MILLER of Michigan. Mr. Speaker, I certainly appreciate the debate that we are having today on this issue. I rise in support of the rule.
Mr. Speaker, when drafting the Bill of Rights to our Constitution, our Founding Fathers guaranteed the right of the people to keep and to bear arms in the second amendment, and for 217 years the second amendment has protected our freedom.
But for years we have seen a nonstop onslaught of individuals and groups trying to erode this basic right. Now, unable to accomplish their goals at the ballot box, they are targeting arms makers in the courts for the illegal use of their product.
Their attempt to force U.S. arms producers out of business would have a serious impact not only on our freedoms but on our national security as well. Let us for a moment just look at three of the companies that are targeted by lawsuits by the antigun fanatics.
The Colt Company is a sole provider of the M-16 rifle carried by the men and women of our armed services. Beretta USA supplies the standard sidearm for all branches of the Armed Forces and law enforcement agencies across the country.
The Sig Arms Company manufactures the sidearm carried by the Secret Service and the Navy SEALS. And if these companies are destroyed, where will our military and our law enforcement get the arms that they need to keep our Nation safe? From France, perhaps. Maybe we can buy them from China.
This is why the Pentagon took the extraordinary step in sending a letter to each Member of this House urging the passage of this important legislation. The aim of these lawsuits is to deny law-abiding Americans from exercising their Constitutional rights to keep and to bear arms. This must be stopped.
Instead, we should severely punish criminals, not law-abiding companies or citizens. And if we do not do so, what is next? Are we going to sue the Louisville Slugger Company if a criminal hits somebody with a baseball bat?
Enough is enough. It is time for common sense. It is time to protect the jobs of the workers of American firms. It is time to protect our rights under the second amendment of the Constitution, and it is time to ensure that the men and women of the armed services and our law enforcement have access to the best possible firearms to protect our Nation.
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