Senator Mike Braun and 20 Republican Senators introduced a bill today to prevent the President and the Secretary of Health and Human Services from declaring a public health emergency to impose gun control.
The Protecting the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Act is cosponsored by Senators Thom Tillis, Kevin Cramer, Jim Risch, Mike Crapo, Cynthia Lummis, Joni Ernst, Cindy Hyde-Smith, John Hoeven, Steve Daines, Ted Budd, Roger Wicker, Rick Scott, Tom Cotton, Josh Hawley, John Thune, Mike Rounds, Joni Ernst, Markwayne Mullin, Ted Cruz, and JD Vance.
Earlier this month, the Governor of New Mexico instituted a public health emergency for the purposes of suspending the 2nd Amendment-protected carrying of firearms. This comes after years of activist groups encouraging the Biden administration, specifically HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, to take the same path to impose gun control by executive fiat.
Just this week, the Washington Post reported that the Biden administration plans to create a new Office of Gun Violence Prevention in response to “stalled” progress in Congress. A high-profile activist from the Community Justice Action Fund will serve a key role for the new office: an organization dedicated to declaring a national gun violence public health emergency as one of its three policy planks.
“Many said that public health emergencies would not be abused to impose gun control, but after we saw the vast expansion of executive power during COVID and the New Mexico Governor use a public health emergency to effectively suspend the 2nd Amendment in her state, no one can doubt that this needs to be addressed,” said Senator Mike Braun. “We need to set into law that no one can remove the right to defend ourselves and our families with the stroke of a pen.”
“It’s simple: terrorist attacks are national emergencies, and pandemics are public health emergencies; guns are neither. Using legitimate presidential power as a backdoor to violate the Second Amendment is disingenuous at best and diminishes the gravity of real emergencies,” said Senator Cramer.
“The illegal action by the Governor of New Mexico to suspend the 2nd Amendment through a public health emergency should be concerning to every American,” said Senator Tillis. “I am deeply concerned that this stunt might be replicated on the national level by a left-wing politician in an effort to enact gun control, and Congress must take action to prevent that from ever happening. I am proud to co-introduce this legislation that would stop that from ever happening so we can protect the Constitutional rights of North Carolinians.”
“The unconstitutional actions by the governor of New Mexico demonstrate a clear need for our legislation, which would protect the second amendment rights of law-abiding Americans and prevent the president and HHS Secretary from issuing a similar, overreaching public health emergency,” said Senator John Hoeven.
“Democrats seem confused, but the Constitution is clear – the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” said Daines.“Washington bureaucrats will do anything to promote their gun-grabbing agenda, including abusing public health emergencies. I won’t stand for it, and I will always protect Montanans’ Second Amendment rights.”
“No emergency declaration will fix the senseless policies that are fueling the violent crime surge in blue cities and states. The use of such a declaration would be an abuse of the power to declare emergencies, violate the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners, and, worse, further erode public confidence in those who govern them,” Hyde-Smith said.
“Abusing national and public health emergency powers for purposes of exercising excessive government control to strip Americans’ Second Amendment right is a clear attempt to circumvent the U.S. Constitution,” said Crapo. “We must not allow creative government bureaucrats to abridge this right while we seek to prevent violence perpetrated by criminals.”
“Americans have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms, and no disaster or emergency declared by bureaucrats can circumvent that right,” Wicker said. “I will fight any attempt by this Administration to make an end run around the Constitution.”
“President Biden cannot be allowed to manufacture a crisis as an excuse to confiscate guns from people in Wyoming,” said Lummis. “The Protecting the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Act affirms that the federal government cannot infringe on Wyoming gunowners’ freedoms. Gun ownership boosts safety and any attempt to limit gun ownership is a win for criminals.”
Senator Rick Scott said, “Democrats’ latest attempt to implement a flat-out ban on Americans’ 2nd Amendment rights in New Mexico under a dubious ‘public health order’ is unconstitutional. We cannot let the Biden administration attempt a similar executive action to strip the fundamental rights of our citizens. Our Protecting the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Act keeps this administration in check and accountable.”
“President Biden should not be able to attack the Constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners by imposing a so-called ‘emergency’ of his own making. As he continues to shred the Constitution and blatantly attempt to circumvent Congress, I am preventing him from taking away Iowans’ Second Amendment rights.” – Sen. Joni Ernst
This legislation is endorsed by the Gun Owners of America.
Protecting the Right to Protect and Bear Arms Act:
- Prohibits the President or their designee, from declaring an emergency pursuant to the National Emergencies Act or major disaster pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act in order to impose gun control.
- Prevents the Secretary of Health and Human services from declare public health emergency pursuant to the Public Health Service Act for the purpose of imposing gun control.
- Prevents any government official from prohibiting the manufacture, sale, or transfer of a firearm or ammunition during a disaster or emergency.