The Bee News Paper
April 29, 2015
As a gun owner, I believe in our Second Amendment right to bear arms. As your congressman, I swore an oath to protect that right.
Whether it has been the implementation of the SAFE Act in New York or the Obama administration’s attempts to ban ammunition used in the popular AR-15, recent headlines have been dominated by government-led infringements on our right to bear arms. In response to these overreaching government actions, I have focused on maintaining and protecting Western New Yorkers’ Second Amendment rights. I am a firm believer in responsible gun ownership. My father taught me how to safely handle a firearm, and I was fortunate to teach my son the same. However, I cannot stand behind initiatives that hurt law-abiding gun owners while failing to achieve the intended goal of reducing gun-related crimes.
In February, I helped reintroduce the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2015. This legislation, endorsed by the National Rifle Association, ensures that valid concealed carry permits issued in one state are valid for carrying concealed handguns in any other state that recognizes its residents’ right to carry a concealed firearm. Responsible gun owners who are certified to carry concealed firearms should not have their right to protect themselves stripped away when they travel across state lines.
In March, numerous news sources reported that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms was attempting to ban the sale of M855 and SS109 ammunition. This strategy was adopted by the Obama administration with the intention of eliminating the popular AR-15 rifle by banning its most commonly used ammunition. To stop this overreach, I sent a letter to the ATF demanding it remove this request immediately. Due to the public pressure generated by the American people and my colleagues in Congress, the ATF withdrew its proposed rule. This was a huge win for personal liberties and the protection of our Second Amendment rights. Recently, I reintroduced the Protecting Gun Owners in Bankruptcy Act. This bill, also endorsed by the NRA, amends the federal definition of protected “household goods” to ensure that firearms cannot be confiscated by creditors in a bankruptcy proceeding. Families and individuals across the nation are doing their best to make ends meet. But bankruptcy filings continue to prevail in the United States. Currently, only 13 states provide protection for our nation’s gun owners by having some form of explicit exemption for firearms. This means 37 states in our nation force gun owners facing bankruptcy to cede protection provided to them under the U.S. Constitution. This legislation will ensure that citizens’ Second Amendment rights remain intact, despite any financial troubles they encounter.
While activist legislators in Washington and Albany seek to curtail our rights, I have remained a staunch advocate for Western New Yorkers’ constitutional freedoms. I will continue to support legislation that protects legal gun owners by establishing common-sense reforms and protections.
We have the power to combat President Obama’s anti-gun agenda.