Roger Wicker on Gun Control
Republican Jr Senator; previously Republican Representative (MS-1)
Proponent's Argument for voting Yes: Sen. BLUMENTHAL: This amendment would ban high-capacity magazines which are used to kill more people more quickly and, in fact, have been used in more than half the mass shootings since 1982. I ask my colleagues to listen to law enforcement, their police, prosecutors who are outgunned by criminals who use these high-capacity magazines. I ask that my colleagues also listen to the families of those killed by people who used a high-capacity magazine.
Opponent's Argument for voting No: Sen. GRASSLEY. I oppose the amendment. In 2004, which is the last time we had the large-capacity magazine ban, a Department of Justice study found no evidence banning such magazines has led to a reduction in gun violence. The study also concluded it is not clear how often the outcomes of the gun attack depend on the ability of offenders to fire more than 10 shots without reloading. Secondly, there is no evidence banning these magazines has reduced the deaths from gun crimes. In fact, when the previous ban was in effect, a higher percentage of gun crime victims were killed or wounded than before it was adopted. Additionally, tens of millions of these magazines have been lawfully owned in this country for decades. They are in common use, not unusually dangerous, and used by law-abiding citizens in self-defense, as in the case of law enforcement.
On page 37, between lines 8 and 9, insert the following: "Allowing Amtrak Passengers to Securely Transport Firearms on Passenger Trains.--None of amounts made available in the reserve fund authorized under this section may be used to provide financial assistance for the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) unless Amtrak passengers are allowed to securely transport firearms in their checked baggage.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:Sen. ROGER WICKER (R, MS). This amendment aims to ensure that gun owners and sportsmen are able to transport securely firearms aboard Amtrak trains in checked baggage, a practice that is done thousands of times a day at airports across the country. I emphasize that this amendment deals with checked, secured baggage only. It would return Amtrak to a pre-9/11 practice. It does not deal with carry-on baggage. Unlike the airline industry, Amtrak does not allow the transport of firearms in checked bags. This means that sportsmen who wish to use Amtrak trains for hunting trips cannot do so because they are not allowed to check safely a firearm.
Opponent's argument to vote No:Sen. FRANK LAUTENBERG (D, NJ): I object to this disruptive amendment offered by the Senator from Mississippi. He wants to enable the carrying of weapons, guns, in checked baggage. One doesn't have to be very much concerned about what we are doing when they look at the history of attacks on railroads in Spain and the UK and such places. This amendment has no place here interrupting the budgetary procedure. The pending amendment is not germane and, therefore, I raise a point of order that the amendment violates section 305(b)(2) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
OnTheIssues.org explanation: This bill is a response to the success of tobacco lawsuits, which resulted in cigarette manufacturers paying billions to compensate for the long-term negative health effects of tobacco use. Gun manufacturers grew concerned that the same sort of lawsuit would be applied to guns.
OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY:
EXCERPTS FROM CONGRESSIONAL FINDINGS:
While widely recognized today as a major political force and as America's foremost defender of Second Amendment rights, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has, since its inception, been the premier firearms education organization in the world. But our successes would not be possible without the tireless efforts and countless hours of service our nearly three million members have given to champion Second Amendment rights and support NRA programs.
The following ratings are based on lifetime voting records on gun issues and the results of a questionaire sent to all Congressional candidates; the NRA assigned a letter grade (with A+ being the highest and F being the lowest).
OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: Prohibits appropriated funds from being used by any US official to promote any action by the UN which advocates the taxation of firearms or any other abrogation of rights under the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Condemns all proposals to tax or otherwise limit rights under the Second Amendment.
SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Rep. PAUL: This legislation prohibits taxpayer support of any UN actions that could in any way infringe on the Second Amendment. The bill also expresses the sense of Congress that proposals to tax, or otherwise limit, the right to keep and bear arms are "reprehensible and deserving of condemnation."
Over the past decade, the UN has waged a campaign to undermine the right to keep and bear arms, which is protected by the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called on members of the Security Council to "tackle" the proliferation and "easy availability" of small arms and light weapons. Just this June, the UN tried to "tackle" gun rights by sponsoring a "Week of Action Against Small Arms." Of course, by small arms, the UN really means all privately owned firearms.
Contrary to the UN propaganda, the right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right and, according to the drafters of the Constitution, the guardian of every other right. Many victims of tyranny were first disarmed by their governments. If the UN is successful in implementing a global regime of gun control, then more innocent lives will be lost to public (and private) criminals. I would remind my colleagues that policies prohibiting the private ownership of firearms were strongly supported by tyrants such as Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tong. Global gun control is a recipe for global tyranny and a threat to the safety of all law-abiding persons.
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to House Committee on International Relations; never came to a vote.
Establishes a national standard for the carrying of concealed firearms (other than a machinegun or destructive device) by non-residents. Authorizes a person who has a valid permit to carry a concealed firearm in one state and who is not prohibited from carrying a firearm under federal law to carry a concealed firearm in another state:
Dear President Obama:
We write to express our concern and regret at your decision to sign the United Nations' Arms Trade Treaty. For the following reasons, we cannot give our advice and consent to this treaty:
Declares that a person not prohibited under the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act from receiving a firearm shall have the right to obtain firearms for security and to use firearms in defense of:
Bars the promulgation or enforcement of any regulation that prohibits an individual from possessing a firearm, including an assembled or functional firearm, in any unit of the National Park System or the National Wildlife Refuge System if:
A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to clarify the conditions under which certain persons may be treated as adjudicated mentally incompetent for certain purposes [including 2nd Amendment rights].
Prohibits, in any case arising out of the administration of laws and benefits by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, considering any person who is mentally incapacitated, deemed mentally incompetent, or experiencing an extended loss of consciousness from being considered adjudicated as a mental defective for purposes of the right to receive or transport firearms without the order or finding of a judge, magistrate, or other judicial authority of competent jurisdiction that such person is a danger to himself or herself or others.
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Retiring in 2014 election:
Retired as of Jan. 2013:
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Senate Votes (analysis)
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