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


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

“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

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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