Kansasís junior Representative weighs in on Gun Control
This is what Kansasís newest Representative has to say about gun control. She beat out the incumbent Republican who ran one of the worst races of his life, and is the darling of the local press. I hope she keeps her word.
June 1, 2007
Dear Mr. XXXX, (Name changed to protect the innocent)
Thank you for contacting me about the issue of gun ownership and the importance of the Second Amendment. Please accept my apologies for the delay in this response. My office receives literally thousands of pieces of correspondence a week, and my staff and I are making every effort to streamline an efficient mailing system.
As your representative in Washington, D.C., I approach all gun-related bills with a goal of protecting the right of Kansans to own guns for shooting, hunting, and self-protection. I'm also working to educate my colleagues from urban districts about the integral role of guns in rural life. The Second District of Kansas includes some of the best deer and turkey hunting lands in the state as well as hundreds of family farmers who protect their crops and livestock against vermin. I am dedicated to preserving this way of life and the essential role that guns play in it.
The awful shootings at Virginia Tech have caused many people to call for new tougher gun control laws. I believe that tragedies like these are preventable, but I believe the path to doing so is through better mental health care, not tougher gun control. I will not join in with those who rush to pass new gun control laws whenever a person uses a gun to grab headlines. We have sufficient laws on the books; we need to enforce them.
As I evaluate gun-related issues in the 110th Congress, I have tried to keep honest, gun-owning Kansans in the forefront of my mind. I want you to know about the following actions that I have taken:
Opposing the Reinstatement of an Assault Weapons Ban
In 1994, Congress passed a law banning the sale of certain semi-automatic guns. That ban expired in 2004. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy introduced H.R. 1022, the Assault Weapons Ban and Law Enforcement Protection Act of 2007, to reinstate the ban while slightly modifying the definition of "assault weapon."
I oppose H.R. 1022 and will not vote for it. Federal statistics show little effect from the first ban, and there is no reason to believe it will work any better the second time around.
Supporting the Repeal of Excessive Gun Control Laws in D.C.
Washington, DC has some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the country. Since 1976, District residents have been banned from owning new handguns, and they can not keep loaded guns in their house. Carrying an unloaded gun from room to room in their house violates the ban on "transporting" weapons. All this in a city with one of the highest violent crime rates in the country.
The courts have begun to strike down some of these laws, but we should not wait for the courts to step in. I am a co-sponor of H.R. 1399, the District of Columbia Personal Protection Act. H.R 1399 would (1) permit law-abiding citizens to possess handguns and rifles in their homes and businesses; (2) repeal the registration requirement for firearms and ammunition; and (3) repeals the ban on semiautomatic weapons. This is common sense legislation that has passed the House twice, and I will vote to pass it again.
Supporting the Expansion of Lands Available to the Public Hunters
Since 1995, Kansas has opened over 1 million acres of private land to public hunting through its WIHA (Walk In Hunting Access) program. Preserving access to hunting lands is just as important to preserving access to hunting weapons - we need to have more programs like these. I am a co-sponsor of H.R. 2473, a bill to provide $20 million in grants to states to expand conservation and public hunting-access programs. I will work to get this program enacted, either as part of the Farm Bill or as a separate program.
Thank you again for writing me. I will keep your concerns in mind as further issues arise, but please do not hesitate to contact me. I appreciate your input, and I look forward to hearing from you again in the future on matters of importance to you.
Member of Congress