We the undersigned Attorneys General respectfully write to express our opposition to the reinstatement of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994s semi-automatic firearms prohibition, which is commonly referred to as the assault weapons ban.
As the states top law enforcement officials, we share the Obama Administrations commitment to reducing illegal drugs and violent crime within the United States. We also share your deep concern about drug cartel violence in Mexico. However, we do not believe that restricting lawabiding Americans access to certain semi-automatic firearms will resolve any of these problems. So, we were pleased by the Presidents recent comments indicating his desire to enforce current laws rather than reinstate the ban on so-called assault weapons.
As you know, the 1994 ban on so-called assault weapons did not apply to machine guns or other fully automatic firearms. Machine gun ownership was first regulated when the National Firearms Act was passed in 1934. And more than twenty years ago, Congress took additional steps to ban fully automatic weapons. Because fully automatic machine guns have already been banned, we do not believe that further restricting law-abiding Americans access to certain semiautomatic firearms serves any real law enforcement purpose.
Recent public statements by congressional leaders reflect that same view. On February 26, 2009, The Hill newspaper quoted the Senate Majority Leaders spokesman saying: Sen. Reid would oppose an effort [to] reinstate the ban. When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was recently asked whether she supports reinstating the 1994 ban, the Speaker reportedly responded No I think we need to enforce the laws we have right now. We agree with the Speaker and the Majority Leader.
The same sentiment has also been expressed to you by sixty-five (65) Congressional Democrats in a letter dated March 17, 2009. In that letter, they astutely noted, It is hard to believe the ban would be effective in controlling crime by well-funded international drug traffickers, who regularly use grenade launchers, anti-tank rockets, and other weapons that are not available on the civilian market in the United States.
The Honorable Eric Holder
Under Title 18, Section 924 of the U.S. Code, knowingly transferring a firearm to an individual who will use that firearm to commit a violent or drug-related crime is already a federal offense. Similarly, it is also a felony to possess a firearm for the purpose of furthering drug trafficking. At a recent Congressional hearing, Kumar Kibble, the Deputy Director of the Immigration and Custom Enforcements Office of Investigations, testified that the Patriot Act included changes to Title 18, Section 554 of the U.S. Code, which improved federal authorities ability to investigate and prosecute illegal smuggling.
As Attorneys General, we are committed to defending our constituents constitutional rights including their constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms. This duty is particularly important in light of the United States Supreme Courts recent Heller decision, which held that the Second Amendment elevated above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home. The high courts landmark decision affirmed that individual Americans have a constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear arms. We, the undersigned Attorneys General, are staunch defenders of that right and believe that it should not be encroached upon without sound justification and a clear law enforcement purpose.
We are pleased that the Administration appears to conform with the Congressional leaderships position on this very important issue. Importantly, the White House website no longer calls for the reinstatement of the 1994 ban. In fact, it expressly acknowledges the great conservation legacy of Americas hunters. We share that appreciation for hunters and are committed to defending our Second Amendment rightswhich is why we believe that additional gun control laws are unnecessary. Instead, authorities need to enforce laws that are already in place.
As Attorneys General, we look forward to working with you and President Obama on commonsense law enforcement solutions to transnational crime. We stand ready to cooperate and collaborate on crime prevention and law enforcement initiatives that will protect our constituents, crack down on transnational crime, and help reduce narcotics consumption in the United States. But, for the reasons explained in this letter, we do not believe that reinstating the 1994 assault weapons ban will solve the problems currently facing the United States or Mexico.
Good for them.
Only 23? How sad.
It’s not surprising to see flaming socialist Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal isn’t on the list.
Where in the ever-luvin-blue-eff is Tennessee! GAH!
New mission, DESTROY, utterly, the TN AG. No way in H! should he not have been a signatory!
Sorry urban America, rural and suburban America do not have the same prejudices you have (as a result of your lax law enforcement against social miscreants) against gun ownership. These Chicago big-city types had better get that into their heads pronto.
That is, unless their goal is to escalate civil unrest into something much, much worse. Remember that once we lose the right to keep and bear arms, the government can do anything to us. This is only tenable if one assumes the government is made up of pure and sinless people who fear God and love their neighbor perfectly.
Believe me, you do not want people who disregard God and regard man as little more than an animal having this kind of power over you.
So the question becomes, how much do you trust your government?
Where is Alaska? The shame!
There you have, with maybe a couple of added states, the core of the New United States... No Make that the Reformed United States.
They're just waiting for the right moment. Maybe if the Soldier killer had some cojones, and had pressed his attack into the recruiting center, or the guards at the holocaust center hadn't been quite so on the ball, they might have had enough blood to dance in.
Except for laws which allow permanent bans on keeping and bearing arms as part of a specific criminal sentence (you know that due process thing) most all current "gun" laws should not be enforced, they should be declared unconstitutional or repealed, preferably both.
I am proud to see my state, Missouri, on that list. My heart swells with joy.
Charges Against 'New Black Panthers' Dropped by Obama Justice Dept. Three men were accused of trying to threaten voters and block poll and campaign workers by the threat of force -- one even brandishing what prosecutors call a deadly weapon.
What makes anyone thinks he cares what letter is sent to him?
Ping! Ping! Ping!
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I wonder why Indiana is missing from that list. The Hoosier state is pretty pro-2A.