Bob Goodlatte: ATF abandons Second Amendment attack

goodlattefourinThe United States Constitution is not a document of suggestions for how the U.S. should be governed. It’s not a “choose your own adventure” novel where you can pick which portion to follow and ignore the rest. The Constitution is the framework for our entire system of government and provides for the protection of our rights and liberties as Americans. Actions by the Executive Branch to unilaterally change our laws are in direct contradiction with the separation of powers outlined by the Constitution.

Unfortunately, President Obama recently attempted to use his pen and phone to stretch his authority to implement more policies that Congress has refused to enact, this time to deprive Americans of their Second Amendment rights. Sadly, we’ve seen this before from the President regarding our immigration and drug laws as well as Obamacare changes.

Under the Administration’s command, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) made a move to change a longstanding exemption to ban a popular, affordable bullet used for the AR-15. Americans own more than five million AR-15s, which are the most commonly used rifles for shooting sports as well as home protection. This backdoor attempt to ban the production and sale of M855 ammunition would have impacted many law-abiding gun owners and restricted the American people’s ability to legally and responsibly exercise their Second Amendment rights.

Folks in the Sixth District are fed up with actions like these, and 239 bipartisan Members of Congress – a clear, sizeable majority of the House – agree that this attack on the Second Amendment is wrong and should be stopped immediately. In response to the Administration’s actions, on March 4th I led a letter to the ATF, signed by this bipartisan group of Members, in firm opposition to this ban.

After much pressure from Congress and Second Amendment supporters, on March 10th the ATF announced that it would abandon its attack on the Second Amendment. While this is good news, we must continue to steadfastly protect the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens. I respect the Second Amendment, and urge the President to halt any future actions that would infringe upon the rights afforded to all Americans.

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