ERICH PRATT, GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA
As if we didn’t have enough gun control to fight recently, we now have another battle emerging.
To replace Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, President Trump has nominated an individual who has advocated very restrictive gun control proposals in the past.
The Senate Judiciary Committee began confirmation hearings on the nominee today.
His name is William Barr, and he actually served as U.S. Attorney General once before under President George H.W. Bush from 1991-1993.
It was during the hearings for that position in 1991 that William Barr expressed his support for gun control:
On the assault weapon front, the proposal before us is the DeConcini amendment. And I think … I would support both the Brady Bill waiting period and the DeConcini [semi-auto ban] amendment, provided that they were parts of a broader and more comprehensive crime bill that included … very tough provisions on the use of firearms in crimes and illegal purchase and trading in firearms…
So Barr endorsed both the Brady Check portion of the Brady Bill and the semi-auto ban, although he did express a preference for magazine bans: “I would prefer a limitation on the clip [sic] size.”
You can see Barr’s remarks at the 1:42:23 mark in this C-Span video.
No excuses for supporting 2A infringements
I wouldn’t be surprised if, during the hearings, Barr defends his past support for gun control by reiterating what he said in 1991.
That is, he supported firearms restrictions as part of a grand bargain to get several “tough on crime” provisions.
But that excuse is not going to fly with the pro-gun community. Because our rights are protected by the Constitution and they can’t be bargained away or negotiated.
Barr might also say his support for gun control was “pre-Heller” — as if that really makes a difference.
If that is Barr’s excuse, then that just means Barr believes that outlawing a large category of firearms is “okey-dokey” if it’s alright with the Supreme Court.
Either way, these excuses won’t fly.
Look, I realize that someone’s views can change in 20-plus years.
Criminologists like Dr. Gary Kleck have changed their views on gun control.
So have judges like Sanford Levinson … law enforcement such as Officer John Cardillo and Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri… legislators like Rep. Ron Silver … media executives such as NPR CEO Ken Stern.
In other words, there are lots of people who eventually wise up and “see the light.”
As for Barr, we don’t have any recent statements from him on gun control (pro or con).
But unless Barr can publicly renounce his previous views on gun control and publicly oppose the positions advocated by his boss-to-be — by taking a firm and unequivocal stand against Red Flag Gun Confiscation Orders — then we’re calling on the Senate to reject his nomination.
[And], please urge your Senators to oppose William Barr for Attorney General, if he will not commit to oppose Red Flag Gun Confiscation Orders. The pre-written messages are specially tailored to fit whether your Senators are Republican or Democrat.
Erich Pratt is Executive Director of Gun Owners of America.
Used with the permission of Gun Owners of America.