By Direction of the Chairman

Jim Jordan’s Opening Remarks:

Thank you Mr. Chairman. I think in your opening statement you used the phrase Republicans opposed it I think seven times if I counted it accurately. The reason we opposed it is because all of those pieces of legislation were a direct violation of the Second Amendment. The right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Plain and simple. It doesn’t say the right to keep and bear muskets shall not be infringed. It doesn’t say shall not be infringed unless Democrats say this weapon looks so scary we have to get rid of it. It doesn’t say that at all. It says shall not be infringed. We said this in the last markup on legislation where the Democrats were trying to infringe on law-abiding Americans’ Second Amendment liberties. We said that the Democrats’ beef is with the Second Amendment. If you want to change the Second Amendment, get rid of the Second Amendment, go try a constitutional amendment, see how far you get with that. But instead no, you come with these pieces of legislation. If this legislation becomes law millions, millions of firearms that Americans legally own today will be illegal. Under this bill, if you give one of those legally owned firearms to a family member or a friend or a neighbor you could end up in federal prison for five years if you don’t go through an FFL for a background check prior to letting your grandson use your firearm. Think about that. Millions of guns that fit the description of those outlined in this bill are in the homes of law-abiding Americans as we speak right now. This bill would send these lawful firearms owners to prison if they try to give them to a neighbor or sell them to a friend.

Not only would this legislation strip Americans of their rights but it would do nothing to make our communities safer. We know that because Democrats tried it before. They tried it with the “Assault Weapons Ban” in 1994 and guess what, that ban was found to be ineffective in reducing violent crime. A congressionally mandated study concluded that the banned guns were never used in more than a modest fraction of all gun violence, murders, excuse me, before the 1994 ban and that the law’s 10-round limit on new magazines was not a factor in multiple victim or multiple wound crimes.

The bill before us today repeats the same assault-weapons ban limits new magazines to 15-rounds. Democrats know this legislation will not reduce violent crime or reduce the likelihood of mass shootings, but they are obsessed with attacking law-abiding Americans’ Second Amendment liberties. For over 30 years the Democrats have been running a propaganda campaign to make people believe that “Assault Weapons” are a specific class of firearms that no one needs to own. In reality, Assault Weapons is a message tested phrase made up by the political class to advance its anti-gun agenda. In 1998 gun control advocates at the Violence Policy Center made up the term “Assault Weapon” to stoke fear and exploit public confusion about commonly owned rifles. These advocates stated that this confusion can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. Just last week in a moment of candor the Associated Press cautioned avoiding terms like Assault Weapon and Assault Rifle, because they are highly politicized and convey little meaning about the actual functions of the weapon. Despite what gun control advocates claim, semi-automatic assault weapons are not designed to spray-fire; they are not designed to be fired from the hip; they are not high-powered; they are not equipped with grenade launchers and rocket launchers, as some have said. The notion that adding certain accessories to an otherwise lawful rifle can somehow turn that rifle into an assault weapon is illogical and wrong.

Proponents of gun control label standard-capacity magazines sold with commonly owned firearms as “high-capacity or large-capacity magazines.” The overwhelming majority of magazines sold with rifles and handguns have the capacity to accommodate between 15 and 30 rounds of ammunition. Both semi-automatic assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition feeding devices have been used for self-defense purposes. This legislation will not make our communities safer; it will in fact make them more dangerous. In 2019 there were 386 self-defense killings that were determined to be “justifiable homicides” by investigators and prosecutors. In 2013 a study ordered by the CDC and carried out by the National Academies Institute of Medicine and National Research Council found that annual defensive uses of a firearm range numbered up to 3 million. This number has likely gone up since then as more states have passed laws allowing law-abiding citizens to carry a concealed firearm. And most importantly, the very types of firearms we are discussing here today have been used in numerous self-defense situations just this year. On July 7, 2022, a Florida homeowner fired his AK-47 style rifle when individuals forcibly entered his home. After the homeowner opened fire, the individuals immediately fled. When asked if the homeowner would face charges, Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons said, “Absolutely not; the homeowner’s protecting himself, and in Florida, and in Escambia County, you can protect yourself.” On April 8, 2022, a man in Melbourne, Florida sitting in his truck outside a friend’s house was confronted by an angry acquaintance who opened fire on him. The man grabbed his own handgun and shot back; when the handgun jammed, the man retrieved his AR-15 from his backseat and started shooting back. The man maintained defensive fire until the assailant ran away. Police were able to arrest and charge the assailant; no one was injured. On April 7, 2022, in Brownsboro, Texas, a homeowner armed with an AR-15 rifle confronted a suspect who broke into his home by smashing through glass of the front door. The homeowner held the suspect at gunpoint until the police arrived.

If Democrats get their way, law-abiding Americans would be prevented from using these weapons to defend themselves against violent intruders in their home. Prevented from defending themselves, their family, their property because of this legislation. This legislation is dangerous, it doesn’t square with the Constitution, with the Second Amendment in any way, and it has failed in the past. Because of all that, I urge my colleagues to vote against it.

I yield back.