The gun bill now before the U.S. Senate is hastily written, hardly read and threatens the rights of legal gun owners and buyers, says Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley.
“They negotiate this thing for weeks behind closed doors,” Hawley told The Heartlander in an interview Wednesday. “Nobody is allowed to see any actual text – you know, nothing written down – and then they dump it in our lap and immediately call a vote.
“I voted no, ’cause it’s a bad bill, but it’s just so typical. You know, ‘No, you can’t see it, no, you can’t see it, OK here it is, now vote yes.’ There’s a reason people hate Washington. That’s exhibit A.”
Senators indeed voted quickly 64-34 Tuesday night to advance the bill for further debate, only a little more than an hour after the 80-page piece of legislation became available.
Kevin L. Jamison, of the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance, said his members are quite unhappy with the bill and have let Missouri’s senators know it.
“Well, they’ve presented it as being a compromise, and it’s nothing of the kind,” Jamison told The Heartlander. “Gun owners are asked to give up something and get nothing in return. That’s not a compromise. They don’t even ask us what we want. We’re just supposed to give up something, and we’ve given up things for many, many years. We’re not going to give up anything more.”
The Texas Tribune reported that, “The legislation does not restrict any rights of existing gun owners,” but Hawley takes serious issue with that characterization. In particular, he says red flag laws, which the Safer Communities Act not only champions but helps fund, would allow courts to seize weapons from owners without their own input or defense.
“I’m really concerned about the lack of due process,” Hawley says.
He argues that, for people who are a danger to themselves or others, “We have laws for that in the state of Missouri. You can have that person committed for a period of hours or days or weeks or longer. But the liberals don’t like those laws because those require actual due process.
“I’m against taking away the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens while doing nothing to go after crime, To me that’s exactly backward.”
Also in the interview, Hawley lamented the U.S. Department of Justice’s failure to investigate and prosecute violent attacks on pro-life facilities, as well as illegal protests outside of Supreme Court justices’ homes in advance of the impending Dobbs v. Jackson ruling that’s expected to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“In many cases we’re talking about firebombings. We’re talking about arsons. And, of course, an assassination attempt on the life of [Justice] Brett Kavanaugh, which the liberal media won’t even report,” Hawley said.
The Republican senator said he’s not worried the left could “pack the court” with liberals during the Biden presidency by expanding the total number of Supreme Court justices from the current nine; Democrats don’t have the filibuster-proof 60-vote majority to do that.
And yet, Hawley says, “That doesn’t mean that what they’re doing is not a threat. What they’re doing [with anti-conservative-justice rhetoric] is encouraging violence.”
As for President Joe Biden’s request that Congress suspend federal gasoline and diesel fuel taxes for three months to ease pain at the pump, Hawley called the proposal “just so completely unserious.
“This is the same week that this guy canceled more oil and gas leases in this country, so we can’t produce any energy in this country under this guy. He will not allow American workers to produce American energy. He will not bring down the price of gas.”