Senate Republicans introduce bill codifying right to bear arms ‘outside your home’
Senate Republicans introduced legislation codifying the right of Americans to both own guns and use them for self-defense outside the home on Thursday.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., announced the legislation alongside fellow members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, saying they intended to codify the court rulings in two key gun rights cases into law. The cases, Washington, D.C. v. Heller and New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, found, respectively, that Americans have an individual right to bear arms irrespective of participation in a militia, and that they have the right to carry firearms outside their homes.
“There’s nothing in the Second Amendment about ‘You can own a gun in your home and nowhere else,'” Graham said in a press conference announcing the legislation. “[Liberals] want to change that law, and if they get control of the Supreme Court these cases will change.”
“This is a concerted effort to attack the fundamentals of the Second Amendment as part of an effort to maintain control of the Senate, take back the House and win the White House,” he continued. “To conservatives, this is a wake-up call. We need you. Understand what’s going on here.”
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Graham says every Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee supports the legislation, and the group will put it forward on Thursday.
President Biden’s administration has called repeatedly for further gun control legislation, urging Congress to pass a so-called federal assault weapons ban during a speech in California earlier this week.
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Biden took the opportunity to announce an executive order expanding background checks for gun purchases. The president’s order does not change U.S. government policy but directs federal agencies to ensure compliance with existing laws and procedures — a typical feature of executive orders issued by presidents when they confront the limits of their own power to act without cooperation from Congress.
Nevertheless, Biden argued his order was far from sufficient.
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“I led that fight to ban [‘assault weapons’] in 1994. The 10 years that law was in place, mass shootings, went down,” Biden said, before blaming Republican lawmakers for allowing it to expire 10 years later.
“Mass shootings tripped since then,” Biden said. “So, let’s finish the job. Ban assault weapons. Ban them again. Do it now. Enough. Do something. Do something.”