Sending Office: Honorable Justin Amash
House Liberty Caucus statement on H.R. 38, House leadership’s anti-Second Amendment legislative package
December 6, 2017
The House Liberty Caucus urges opposition to
H.R. 38, the anti-Second Amendment package the House will consider this afternoon. This amended bill, which combines the Fix NICS Act with a shortsighted attempt at concealed carry reciprocity, undermines the Second Amendment and empowers the federal government
to unconstitutionally regulate firearms.
The Fix NICS Act encourages states and federal agencies to submit names and records to a national database used to deny Americans’ right to keep and bear arms. Individuals are often added to this database without just cause or due process, and FBI reports
reveal that thousands of Americans have had their gun rights unconstitutionally abridged because this system returned inaccurate or invalid information. Such individuals, who may not even have been convicted of crimes, face overwhelming bureaucratic hurdles
to correct these records or have themselves removed from the database.
The Fix NICS Act exacerbates the constitutional problems with the program by reauthorizing hundreds of millions of dollars in grant funding to states in exchange for adding names to NICS. It also increases federal involvement in how states design and run
their criminal records systems to increase NICS reporting.
Additionally, H.R. 38 uses the Commerce Clause, a constitutional provision both parties abuse when trying to increase the size and scope of the federal government, to expand federal authority over concealed carry permits. The Second Amendment, not the Commerce
Clause, secures our right to keep and bear arms. H.R. 38 expands federal power over a right that “shall not be infringed,” and, by using the Commerce Clause, it sets a dangerous precedent that future Congresses may use to expand regulations on firearms.
House Liberty Caucus
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