Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Pelosi Claims Future President Could Use “National Emergency” to Target Guns

Friday, February 22, 2019

Pelosi Claims Future President Could Use “National Emergency” to Target Guns

First, gun control supporters supposedly wanted a “national conversation” on gun violence. Then they purported to want Congress to enact so-called “common sense gun reform.” Now some anti-gun lawmakers are dispensing with any pretense of good or constitutional governance and revealing that they are willing to target guns and gun owners by executive fiat.

On February 14, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) held a press conference where she excoriated President Donald Trump for his plan to declare a national emergency in order to shift funding to the construction of barriers along the Southern border. During her remarks, Pelosi declared,

Just think of what a president with different values can present to the American people. Want to talk about a national emergency? Let’s talk about today, the one year anniversary of another manifestation of the epidemic of gun violence in America. That’s a national emergency. Why don’t you declare that emergency Mr. President? I wish you would. But a Democratic president can do that. A Democratic President can declare emergencies as well.

Pelosi’s characterization of gun violence as an epidemic or national emergency is incorrect. Since 1991, the murder rate has fallen by 45 percent and the overall violent crime rate has fallen by 48 percent. At the same time that violent crime was falling, Americans were acquiring a record number of firearms.

Moreover, there is not an epidemic of the type of violence Pelosi cited. In 2018, researchers from Northeastern University led by Professor of Criminology James Alan Fox shared research that determined, “shooting incidents involving students have been declining since the 1990s.”

In fact, Fox was quoted in the article that presented the research as stating, “there is not an epidemic of school shootings.”

It is unclear from Pelosi’s vague comments what type of executive action she contemplates a future anti-gun president taking. Taking to Twitter the following day, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) offered more detail, “If Trump gets away w this border emergency declaration, then a Dem President can declare a gun violence emergency and institute universal background checks and an assault weapons ban by executive action.”

Under the National Emergencies Act, when tasked with a pressing matter a president may declare a national emergency in order to activate certain statutory powers the Congress has authorized that would otherwise be unavailable to him. In this instance, President Trump has cited the power provided by 10 U.S.C. 2808, which permits the executive branch to undertake military construction projects in the event of a declared national emergency, in order to shift funds to the construction of a border wall.

There is no analogous statute that would authorize the executive branch to enact long-rejected gun control policies following the declaration of a national emergency.

Rather, thanks to an NRA-supported provision, federal law explicitly prohibits federal authorities from taking certain actions in relation to firearms and firearms owners pursuant to an “emergency.”

42 U.S.C. 5207 states,

                (a) Prohibition on confiscation of firearms

No officer or employee of the United States (including any member of the uniformed services), or person operating pursuant to or under color of Federal law, or receiving Federal funds, or under control of any Federal official, or providing services to such an officer, employee, or other person, while acting in support of relief from a major disaster or emergency, may--

(1) temporarily or permanently seize, or authorize seizure of, any firearm the possession of which is not prohibited under Federal, State, or local law, other than for forfeiture in compliance with Federal law or as evidence in a criminal investigation;

(2) require registration of any firearm for which registration is not required by Federal, State, or local law;

(3) prohibit possession of any firearm, or promulgate any rule, regulation, or order prohibiting possession of any firearm, in any place or by any person where such possession is not otherwise prohibited by Federal, State, or local law; or

(4) prohibit the carrying of firearms by any person otherwise authorized to carry firearms under Federal, State, or local law, solely because such person is operating under the direction, control, or supervision of a Federal agency in support of relief from the major disaster or emergency.

Moreover, as the Congressional Research Service correctly pointed out in 2007 report on National Emergency Powers, “With the exception of the habeas corpus clause, the Constitution makes no allowance for the suspension of any of its provisions during a national emergency.” This, of course, includes the Second Amendment.

As for Sen. Murphy’s national emergency semi-automatic gun ban fantasy, Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion in the U.S. Supreme Court case District of Columbia v. Heller explained that the Second Amendment protects ownership of firearms “in common use at the time” for “lawful purposes like self-defense.” In 2015, Justice Scalia made clear that this includes firearms such as the AR-15 when he signed onto a dissent from denial of certiorari written by Justice Clarence Thomas that noted,

Roughly five million Americans own AR-style semiautomatic rifles. The overwhelming majority of citizens who own and use such rifles do so for lawful purposes, including self-defense and target shooting. Under our precedents, that is all that is needed for citizens to have a right under the Second Amendment to keep such weapons.

Any effort to ban these commonly-owned firearms, under the guise of a national emergency or otherwise, is unconstitutional.

Desperate to enact federal gun control policies repeatedly rejected by the American people through their elected representatives and attack President Trump, anti-gun lawmakers have stooped to a fresh low. This latest outburst reveals not only their disdain for Second Amendment rights, but for our constitutional form of governance.

TRENDING NOW
Governor Bevin Signs NRA-backed Constitutional Carry

News  

Monday, March 11, 2019

Governor Bevin Signs NRA-backed Constitutional Carry

The NRA applauds Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin for signing Senate Bill 150 into law, an NRA-backed bill that fully recognizes the constitutional right of law-abiding gun owners to carry a concealed firearm.

Activist Court Turns the Law Designed to Protect the Firearm Industry from Frivolous Lawsuits on its Head

News  

Friday, March 15, 2019

Activist Court Turns the Law Designed to Protect the Firearm Industry from Frivolous Lawsuits on its Head

On Thursday, the Connecticut Supreme Court created a dangerous new exception to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), a strong safeguard for our right to keep and bear arms.  

Nevada: Omnibus Anti-Gun Bill Introduced, Legislator Bill Introduction Deadline Extended

Monday, March 18, 2019

Nevada: Omnibus Anti-Gun Bill Introduced, Legislator Bill Introduction Deadline Extended

Today, Assembly Bill 291 was introduced by Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui (D-41).  This omnibus anti-gun legislation is a threat to both gun owners residing in Nevada and those who are visiting. 

Yesterday’s Scandal, Today’s Mandate: Anti-gunner Embraces Operation Choke Point as Official Policy

News  

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Yesterday’s Scandal, Today’s Mandate: Anti-gunner Embraces Operation Choke Point as Official Policy

On Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) unabashedly embraced the tactics behind one of the most shameful policies of the Obama era, openly using the guise of her federal authority to berate and not so ...

Canada’s Senate Holds Hearings on “Rube Goldberg” Gun Control Law, Bill C-71

News  

Friday, March 15, 2019

Canada’s Senate Holds Hearings on “Rube Goldberg” Gun Control Law, Bill C-71

Last month, the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence (SECD) concluded two days of hearings on Bill C-71, the Liberal government’s gun control bill. (An additional hearing date has been set for March 18, ...

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

News  

Friday, September 7, 2018

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

Levi Strauss & Co. established its brand in the mid-19th century by selling durable clothing to working-class Americans. As Levi’s signature jeans gained popularity amongst a wider set in the middle of the last century, ...

Monday, March 18, 2019

Alert! Look Out ALABAMA! Here comes D.J. Parten's Bait & Switch

It looks like D.J. Parten is making a move on Alabama.  We’ve heard that he’s trying to establish himself in another state – Alabama.  So, if you know people in Alabama, forward this email to ...

Colorado: Senate Committee Rapidly Passes “Red Flag” Bill to the Senate Floor With Little Notice

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Colorado: Senate Committee Rapidly Passes “Red Flag” Bill to the Senate Floor With Little Notice

With less than 12 hours-notice to the public, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed gun control legislation, House Bill 1177, this morning.

Gun Controllers Want Credit Card Companies to Monitor and Restrict Lawful Purchases

News  

Friday, February 22, 2019

Gun Controllers Want Credit Card Companies to Monitor and Restrict Lawful Purchases

Gun controllers have become increasingly frustrated that their federal agenda has been repeatedly rejected by Americans through their elected representatives, leading them to seek to circumvent the legislative process and restrict gun rights by way ...

Washington: Gun Ban Bills Fail Crossover Deadline

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Washington: Gun Ban Bills Fail Crossover Deadline

Today, March 13th at 5:00PM, was the cutoff deadline for all bills to be voted out of the chamber in which they originated.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.