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Published On: Fri, Jan 29th, 2016

Gun Control hearing: Maryland’s Barbara Mikulski, let’s avoid ‘constitutional arguments’

Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski said at a Senate hearing that she wanted to avoid getting “involved in constitutional arguments” as the hearing in question dealt with President Obama’s recent executive actions on guns, which many believe infringes on Americans’ Second Amendment rights.

“I look forward to…listening to the attorney general and listening to this wonderful panel that you’ve invited to participate today,” Mikulski, a Democrat and ardent supporter of gun control, said in her opening remarks ahead of a Senate Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Subcommittee hearing, which heard testimony from Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

“So let’s solve the problem,” Mikuski urged. “Let’s not get involved in constitutional arguments, and let’s help our American people be safe and secure in their home, their neighborhood, their school and their house of worship.”
The Founding Parents logo Constitution flag quillPresident Obama announced that his administration will force more gun sellers, even low-volume sellers, to obtain licenses and to conduct background checks. The initiative, which was developed in part by Lynch, expands the category of gun sellers considered to be “in the business” of selling firearms.
“This subcommittee will have no part in undermining the Constitution and the rights that it protects,” Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., top Republican on the Senate Appropriations panel that held the hearing, told Lynch.
Shelby almost immediately questioned the administration’s legal justification for moving ahead on its own and bypassing Congress.

“It is clear to me that the American people are fearful that President Obama is eager to strip them of their Second Amendment rights,” Shelby, who is up for re-election in November, said. “Let me be clear: the Second Amendment is not a suggestion. It is an individual right protected in the Bill of Rights that has been recognized by the Supreme Court.”

But Lynch called the moves “well-reasoned measures, well within existing legal authorities, built on work that’s already underway.”

“I have complete confidence that the common-sense steps announced by the president are lawful,” Lynch said.

Other details in the Obama administration’s plan include hiring 230 more FBI examiners so more background checks can be run; 200 additional agents for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; federal research on gun safety technology and a request for $500 million to improve mental health programs.

Lynch said Obama’s 2017 budget, to be released in February, will seek $80 million for his gun proposals, largely for the additional FBI and ATF agents.

photo Chelsea Gomez (Oakes) via Flickr

photo Chelsea Gomez (Oakes) via Flickr

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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  1. Darryl Snider says:

    Barbra and her gang are all about prohibition. They are the classic case of the camels nose under the tent. Look at Oregon. First they passed Universal background checks and now sensing an opportunity they are try to push HB1551 and HB1447. Both bills takeaway your right to due process.

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