Obama Presidency
Obama Presidency

Republican Enlists 65 Pro-Gun Dems to Oppose Assault Weapon Ban

| by NRA
From Mike Ross' page on the House of Representative Web site:

WASHINGTON --- U.S. Representative Mike Ross (AR-04) led a group of 65 pro-gun Democrats in denouncing recent comments made by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s on February 25 that the Obama administration intended to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.

The group of 65 pro-gun Democrats, led by Ross, sent a letter to the Attorney General on March 18, 2009, urging him to abandon any effort to reinstate the assault weapons ban and to focus instead on effective law enforcement strategies to enforce the nation’s current laws against violent criminals and drug traffickers.

“Firearms are an important means of self defense and, as an avid hunter and outdoorsmen, an important part of our way of life,” said Ross. “I am a firm believer in the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and will continue to fight any efforts in Washington that restrict our right to own and bear arms.”

The group argued that the ban was ineffective during the 10 years it was law, and that crime began falling before the ban was passed in 1994, and continued falling during and after the ban. The last time the murder rate was at its current level was more than forty years ago. Even the Urban Institute study of the ban’s effectiveness mandated by the 103rd Congress found that it could only have a limited effect because “the banned weapons and magazines were never used in more than a modest fraction of all gun murders.”

“Criminals will get guns whether we have gun control laws or not. Regulating guns will not keep guns out of the hands of criminals, but it will keep guns out of the hands of those trying to defend themselves from criminals,” said Ross.

The Federal Assault Weapons Ban was part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act signed into law in 1994. The act defined an assault weapon to include numerous models of semi-automatic firearms that fire one shot each time the trigger is pulled. The law had a ten-year sunset provision and expired in 2004.

“Most Arkansans lawfully own these commonly used firearms and ammunition magazines, which would be affected by reinstating the ban,” said Ross. “Law-abiding Americans use these guns for all the same reasons they use any other kind of gun – competitive shooting, hunting and defending their homes and families.”

There have numerous studies conducted from 1994 – 2004 (the decade long period this ban was in place) including studies commissioned by the Justice Department that found this ban to be ineffective and was the primary reason Congress allowed the law to expire in 2004.

“My constituents in Arkansas’s Fourth Congressional District have very real and serious problems that we must address in Congress,” said Ross “People are worried about keeping their jobs, paying for their families’ health care, educating their children and retiring with the kind of security their parents and grandparents enjoyed. A long and divisive fight over a gun control issue will only distract the Congress from giving these more important issues the attention they deserve.”

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