U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, blocked an attempt by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to ban so-called “assault weapons” on Wednesday. Senator Barrasso spoke on the Senate floor on the need protect Americans’ Second Amendment rights.
Excerpts from Sen. Barrasso’s remarks:
“Americans have a Constitutional right to own a firearm.
“Every day, people across Wyoming responsibly use their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms.
“Today is about defending those rights against those who would take them away.
“Democrats are demanding that the American people trade in their liberty. The Democrats’ legislation takes away a right, and does not provide Americans security.
“Democrats want Washington to ban rifles and pistols because of the way they look. To do this, they describe semi-automatic rifles as “assault rifles.” They aren’t.
“Any farmer, rancher, or outdoorsman in Wyoming can tell you. These rifles work the same way as popular shotguns and other rifles used for hunting and personal protection.
“Instead of facing these facts, Democrats stick to a demonizing rifles and disrespecting gun owners.
“Democrats’ ban on “assault weapons” is an assault on lawful gun owners.
“There is a contradiction at the center of the gun control debate: Democrats want to enact new laws on law-abiding citizens. At the same time, they ignore lawbreakers.
“Almost every single page of this bill adds new restrictions and new burdens on people who follow the law. It tells you what you can buy and what you cannot buy. It bans more than 205 popular rifles, shotguns, and pistols by name. Republicans reject these unconstitutional, unjustified restrictions.
“Democrats’ bumper-sticker solution to ban guns is not about safety. It is about restricting lawful gun ownership. It is about trying to label responsible gun owners as criminals.
“Democrats are the party of defunding the police and disarming the American people.
“None of this makes our streets safer.
“None of this slows the crime wave in America.
“None of this solves the mental health crisis in our country.
“The focus should be on mental health, school safety, and stricter enforcement of current laws.
“We want Americans to be safe in their communities, their homes, and their schools. The legislation before us today goes beyond that.
“I oppose any policies that jeopardize the Second Amendment rights of the people of Wyoming and across the country.
“The Second Amendment is freedom’s essential safeguard. Without it, there can be no liberty and no security.”