The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads, “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” While some may disagree, I believe the plain language of this Amendment guarantees the right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.
I introduced H.R. 131 to strengthen federal protections for law abiding Americans traveling with firearms. Current law includes protections for individuals transporting firearms between places where they are legally allowed to have them. However, some states continue to harass and detain travelers who are abiding by federal law. My bill, which is endorsed by the NRA, puts an end to these practices and makes it clear that the rights of American citizens can no longer be ignored.
I offered an amendment to the Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act (H.R. 2406) to incorporate the text of H.R. 131, my legislation to strengthen federal protections for law abiding Americans traveling with firearms. This amendment was adopted into H.R. 2406 and was included in the final version of the bill passed by the House of Representatives.
Voted to support the Sportsmen's Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act (H.R. 2406), which protects Second Amendment rights and guarantees Americans ample access to federal lands in order to hunt, fish, and recreationally shoot.
Among its provisions, H.R. 2406 makes permanent the exemption for lead ammunition from regulation under the Toxic Substances Control Act and facilitates cooperation between federal land management agencies and state and local governments in maintaining recreational shooting ranges.
The SHARE Act also allows lawful possession of firearms in accordance with state law on land managed by the Army Corps of Engineers for a water resources development project.
Co-sponsored the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015 (H.R 986). This bill would allow a person who is not banned from possessing, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm under federal law, and who carries the required identification and a valid concealed carry permit from any state, to carry a concealed handgun in any other state that allows residents to carry a concealed weapon, in accordance with that state’s restrictions.
Voted for the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 2578), which included an amendment prohibiting the use of any funds to carry out Operation Choke Point, a broad federal investigation using non-public subpoenas to pressure banks and other financial institutions in order to discourage them from maintaining relationships with a number of businesses, including firearms and ammunition sellers. H.R. 2578 also included language preventing funding from being used to enforce the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty.
I opposed efforts by Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring to end reciprocity agreements and stop recognizing concealed carry gun permits from 25 states, including Tennessee, which was to take effect on Monday, February 1, 2016. This action would have had a significant impact on our region, and would have regrettably left concealed carry permit holders from states such as Tennessee without the ability to protect themselves or others from harm. I held a press conference with Rep. Phil Roe to discuss the effects Attorney General Herring’s decision would have had on our constituents who regularly cross state lines – some who do so by simply walking across the street – as well as local law enforcement tasked with carrying out the policy. I am encouraged that the Governor and Attorney General backed off of this misguided decision and were able to negotiate an agreement with Republican leaders of the Virginia General Assembly.
Original co-sponsor of H. Con. Res. 23, a resolution that makes clear that the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (signed by Secretary of State John Kerry on September 25, 2013, but which still awaits ratification by the Senate) undermines Constitutional freedom. It is clear that this treaty doesn’t understand or take into consideration the history of the United States or our Constitution. In its preamble, it violates the Constitution by claiming to reaffirm the right of the State to regulate firearms. But the right to be able to defend oneself by bearing arms is a part of the natural law recognized by the United States Constitution. While this right was recognized by the Constitution, it was not granted by the Constitution because the power of the State cannot take away the natural laws of man. I joined 180 other Members of Congress in sending a letter to the President opposing ratification and implementation of the treaty, and voted for a number of bills which would prevent funding going to enforce or implement this treaty unless the Senate first ratifies it.
I am a member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, which works to protect and preserve the interests of our nation’s sportsmen, including hunters, shooters, and anglers.
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