The chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science said Attorney General Loretta Lynch did nothing at a hearing this week to convince him of the legality of President Obama’s gun executive orders.
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) grilled Lynch during that hearing about the executive actions as well as her beliefs in the Second Amendment.
Lynch said she has “complete confidence that the common-sense steps announced by the president are lawful” as “they clarify laws that are already on the books.”
On Shelby’s question of whether the right to bear arms is an “integral part of the Constitution,” Lynch replied, “Sir, I believe that the Bill of Rights and the subsequent amendments are indeed an integral part of the Constitution, as well as the case law that seeks to interpret them.”
Shelby told Fox on Thursday that Lynch is “wrong” when she said the actions would strengthen existing gun laws. “And a lot of the people who have studied and spent their life dealing with the Second Amendment to the Constitution, that is the right to bear arms, believes that she is wrong,” he said.
The chairman said he held the hearing “because they keep chipping away” at the Second Amendment.
“The Second Amendment is just as important to our way of life as the First Amendment and the Fourth Amendment, the Fifth Amendment. You can’t separate them in a sense. They’re all part of the Bill of Rights. And we are going to fight to keep it that way,” Shelby said.
“And I felt the hearing highlighted — I thought she was rather weak on that. She didn’t cite any source that was meaningful. She just gave her opinion on that. Well, her opinion is that of the president, and the president’s idea is to chip away, to erode the rights of the people to bear arms.”
Shelby said while the administration steers to “everything is gun control, gun control,” lawmakers should focus on efforts to “share information to prevent guns from going into people hands that shouldn’t have them” and programs to “double down on dealing with mental health.”
“But protect people’s right to have arms,” he said. “But I think every time the president has an opportunity, he’s going to chip away at the Second Amendment or try to, and we’re winning that battle and we’re going to win this.”