The Republican Party continues to be very outspoken in its support of the Second Amendment that undeniably gives American citizens the right to “bear arms”, meaning the right to own, carry and use firearms to protect yourself, your family, and your property. In fact, preservation of this individual right is a fundamental part of the GOP party platform.
Republicans are constantly characterized as having a mania for weapons, but their support for the amendment is more deeply rooted in upholding the fundamental principle that the Fathers of the Constitution called for.
Furthermore, Republicans believe that government regulation and overregulation of firearms is largely unconstitutional, and that most gun laws infringe upon individual rights. Republicans generally believe in less government, and they also believe in states’ rights, meaning that gun ownership rules should be left to the individual states to decide.
In the aftermath of the Orlando shootings, House Speaker Paul Ryan promoted legislation allowing the government to block the sale or transfer of a gun if the buyer is determined to have links to terrorism. The House was supposed to vote on the legislation in early July, but postponed the vote, with Ryan quoted by The New York Times as saying that while the bill does have a pathway to passing, the House would vote on it “when we’re ready. “
One of the reasons for Ryan’s stall is that many conservatives adamantly oppose the bill because it would give government unprecedented power to infringe upon constitutional rights. Furthermore, some Republicans will not support the bill because they are still steamed about the Democrats’ recent anti-gun sit in on the House Floor. Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas said the “legislation amounted to rewarding Democrats for seizing the floor. There was just a massive violation of rules, and there are supposed to be consequences, and so far the only consequence that we’ve seen is they’re going to get a gun vote, like they were demanding,” Mr. Gohmert said. “That’s basically giving them what they want.” House leaders are reportedly looking into punitive measures for Democrats for rules that may have been violated during the protest, including their prohibiting streaming video from the House floor.
“We have members from both sides of the aisle who want to make improvements, who want to make changes to the bill,” Ryan told reporters. “We want to make sure we get it right.” The vote will have to wait until after Congress returns from its seven week summer recess.
Meanwhile Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) has formed a new bipartisan group to build a majority in Congress who support gun control. Murphy has described Orlando and other summer incidents of gun violence as turning point for the anti-gun movement. In a statement, Murphy described the Republican Congress as “beholden to the gun lobby” and said that the only way to make real progress and new laws will be to ensure that Congress is controlled by Democrats. “We’ve already won the debate — the public is behind us. What we need now is to elect a Congress that reflects the will of the people.”