Recently I received a survey from the National Rifle Association asking for my views – as a candidate for Congress – on a number of Second Amendment issues. This was my response:
December 29, 2017
Jason M. Ouimet
Director of Federal Affairs
11250 Waples Mill Road
Fairfax, VA 22030
Dear Mr. Ouimet:
I recently received your survey for Federal candidates for public office to find out where they stand on second amendment issues. I must admit that I found the questions in this survey to be rather biased, in some cases markedly so, so instead of answering your survey questions I will outline my position on second amendment rights in summary form.
First, I grew up with guns, and I support the second amendment in principle. I have owned handguns, rifles and/or shotguns for most of my adult life. I currently own two handguns, and I am licensed by the state of Texas to carry them openly, on my person, in public. With only a few exceptions, I carry one of them almost all the time I am outside. In addition, while on active duty with the US Navy (I am a Vietnam veteran) I was on the Navy Match Pistol Team while stationed in Subic Bay, R.P., and I am authorized to wear the Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon with silver “E” for “Expert.” So I consider myself a “second amendment” supporter in both words and deeds.
I also believe in certain restrictions to the second amendment. For example, I believe:
– That no civilian needs or should be allowed to possess a fully-automatic firearm;
– That no civilian needs or should be allowed to possess a silencer;
– That no civilian needs or should be allowed to possess a high capacity magazine – i.e., a magazine that holds more than 15 rounds;
– That no one be allowed to obtain a state or federal license to either own or carry a firearm without a background check, without adequate training, without an adequate mental health evaluation by a licensed professional psychologist or psychiatrist, without appropriate liability insurance, and without a demonstration of proper handling before a certified firearms instructor;
– That no one who has been prosecuted for domestic violence be allowed to own a firearm of any kind;
– That no one who has been convicted of a violent crime of any kind be allowed to own a firearm of any kind;
– That no one with a diagnosed mental health condition that makes him (or her) a risk to the public be allowed to own a firearm of any kind;
– That no civilian be allowed to own a functioning mortar, rocket launcher or “crew-served” weapon of any kind.
In addition, I believe that each state should be allowed to decide how to license people to carry firearms, whether to recognize reciprocity in firearm licensing with other states, and whether to modify their criminal statutes to address gun ownership and gun violence. I realize that there is a counter argument on the constitutional basis of “full faith and credit” for carrying firearms either openly or concealed, but I also recognize that there are exceptions to this clause (e.g., legalized marijuana) that apply to gun ownership, licensing and carrying.
As far as veterans returning from conflicts with “liberated” weapons, I would allow them to keep such weapons only if they are permanently rendered incapable of “fully automatic” functioning.
This is my position, so grade me as you will.
Candidate, U.S. House of Representatives, Texas District 13
This is as clearly as I can state my position, and since I expect the NRA will rate me unfavorably I thought the voters in this District deserved to hear from me what my actual position is.