Just got this back. And on Inauguration Day, no less!!
Dear Mr. TexasJohnBoy,
Thank you for contacting me regarding the Hearing Protection Act of 2017 (S. 59). I recognize your dedication to participating in the democratic process and appreciate your comments on this matter.
As you may know, S. 59 was introduced on January 9, 2017. As a cosponsor of this legislation and a strong proponent of the Second Amendment, I believe that it is essential to safeguard law-abiding citizens’ constitutional right to own and use firearms for lawful purposes. This legislation would remove sound suppressors from regulation under the National Firearms Act of 1934 (P.L. 73-474), ensuring that purchasing a firearm suppressor is treated the same as purchasing a long gun and thus subject to the same background check process. S. 59 has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee for further consideration. As a member of the Finance Committee, you may be certain that I will keep your views in mind as reform proposals are considered during the 115th Congress.
Burdensome regulations, such as restricting the Second Amendment, runs counter to the intent of our Founding Fathers, who expressly guaranteed that citizens would retain the right to keep and bear arms. It is encouraging that the Supreme Court has upheld the will of our Founders and re-affirmed the ideals upon which our country was established. The Supreme Court's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller provides a greater guarantee that Americans' constitutional rights remain secure from federal government intrusion. I was proud to sign an amicus brief to the Supreme Court supporting the fundamental right of American citizens to keep and bear arms. This landmark ruling continues to have implications far beyond the District of Columbia. In the 2010 McDonald v. City of Chicago decision, the Supreme Court struck down the arbitrary gun ban in Chicago—thereby affirming that the Second Amendment protects Americans’ fundamental right against state and local encroachment.
As a former Texas Supreme Court Justice and Attorney General, I have firsthand knowledge of effective crime-fighting policies and believe that citizens' Second Amendment rights should not be restricted because of the actions of criminals. Rather, we must focus our attention on the source of violent crime: criminals who use firearms to harm innocent Americans. I believe that strictly enforcing the law—and imposing tougher sentences on career criminals and violent offenders who use firearms—will reduce violence more effectively than gun or equipment bans, which primarily serve to take firearms away from law-abiding citizens. Furthermore, lawmakers should work to reduce violence by enacting policies that increase treatment options for those who are dangerously mentally ill—a common factor in many acts of mass violence that have occurred in communities across the nation.
I appreciate the opportunity to represent Texas in the United States Senate, and you may be certain that I will continue working with my colleagues to protect our Second Amendment rights. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.
United States Senator