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Opinion | Defending the Second Amendment

This past week, Democrats in Congress again launched an attack on our Constitution and the rights we cherish as Americans. This time, they came after the Second Amendment and our right to bear arms.

HR8, the latest Democrat-led gun control bill does absolutely nothing to prevent criminals or violent persons from getting their hands on firearms.

What HR8 does do is violate the Constitutional rights of millions of Americans, ignores the mental health crisis behind actions of mass violence and limits the Constitutional rights of millions of responsible gun owners.

I’m a gun owner and hunter myself. I’ve talked to lots of folks from all around Alabama who proudly own guns for sport, work and protection. Congress should not and cannot limit the rights of the American people in the name of politics.

Under the Democrat bill, almost every time a lawful gun owner wants to transfer or sell a gun, they will have to go through a government-sanctioned middle man. Under this bill, no longer could I sell my gun to my cousin or my neighbor in a private transaction.

If this bill were to become law, millions of law-abiding gun owners could suddenly be subject to federal prosecution. Of course, we all know that criminals are going to do what they already do — make illegal transfers of firearms. So, this won’t make any difference in cutting down on crime.

I have a long track record of supporting commonsense bills to provide Alabamians a way to protect themselves while offering smart background check programs and mental health services to those in need. My grandfather was shot and killed by someone suffering from mental illness. I know the importance of providing important resources for those in need without infringing on the rights guaranteed by our Founding Fathers.

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The so-called solutions in the Democrat gun control bill do nothing to prevent mass violence. We should not punish law-abiding citizens, instead we should listen to responsible gun owners and work on solutions that protect our Second Amendment rights.

I have news for the out-of-touch Democrats. Gun owners of America are watching this debate. They know what HR8 is all about, and they know that this bill is just a sham to chip away at the Second Amendment and our Constitution.

Instead of trying to attack the Second Amendment, we should be trying to protect it. During the debate last week, Speaker Nancy Pelosi blocked my amendment to strip out this anti-gun legislation and replace it with nationwide concealed carry reciprocity. Instead of trampling on our Constitution, Democrats could have accepted my amendment and allowed a vote on a bill that would have actually made our country safer.

Our Founding Fathers enshrined the right to keep and bear arms in our nation’s Constitution. Throughout our history, we have seen the importance of the Second Amendment for people to make a living, to provide for their families and to protect their life and liberty.

It is clear that this bill was nothing more than yet another sham show vote from the Democratic leadership. The gun control bill promises much but delivers very little.

I opposed this bill, and I will oppose any bill that goes against the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans. It is my duty as a citizen of the United States and representative of the people of Alabama to defend our Constitution against any effort to roll back the important protections enshrined within it.

One thing is for sure: I will always stand up for our Constitution, the Second Amendment and the rights of law-abiding gun owners in Alabama and around the United States.

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Bradley Byrne is the president and CEO of the Mobile Chamber of Commerce and a former Republican congressman who represented Alabama's 1st Congressional District.

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