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Public Statements

Second Amendment Rights

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LUETKEMEYER. Thank you, Congresswoman Hartzler. It's always good to work with another fellow Member from Missouri, the Show Me State, where we can give some folks a little insight as to what's going on.

Mr. Speaker, when I was growing up in rural Missouri, firearms were a regular part of my life. Beyond learning how to safely handle firearms while hunting and shooting, I learned also to respect them. Like so many parents, I made sure those same lessons were instilled in my own children.

It is because of the efforts of parents or adults who can have a positive influence on a child that the culture of safety and respect toward firearms have been so well maintained in rural America. Our communities and families work very hard to ensure this heritage, and it is very upsetting when lawmakers--many of whom know nothing about firearms--attempt to place limitations on our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

The Second Amendment is, in fact, a primary constitutional right that sets America far apart from nations around the world. Our Founders got this right. They knew ensuring the right of a citizen to keep and bear arms would always be vital to ensuring personal freedoms.

I have spent my time as an elected official--first in the Missouri State House of Representatives, and now in Congress--working to protect the Second Amendment. However, not only is it important to protect the right to own the gun; it is also important to protect the privacy of the information about the ownership of the gun and the conceal-carry permits and things like that.

I will give you an example. In my State just recently--in fact, we're barely finished working on this--it has come to our attention that the Department of Revenue and Highway Patrol, in working in conjunction with the Social Security Administration's Inspector General, was looking into getting control of the conceal-carry permit list of all the folks in the State of Missouri to compare it for mental health disability fraud in our State. While we were satisfied in going through all the different informational checks and crosschecks with regard to the Federal side of this--that they did everything legally they were supposed to do as well as the information was protected and not compromised--it still pointed out some of the looseness and sloppiness that went on with regards to the way that the State folks handled our information. To me, that is something that we have to be constantly watchful for.

Someone once said the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. I think with regard to Second Amendment rights, it certainly is something that is very true.


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