Our latest response is the first from South Dakota and is a message from their sole representative in the House. There is more movement afoot than we have seen in quite some time, so keep them coming. You can click on the "Politics" label at the bottom of the post to see all previous responses. Send yours to firstname.lastname@example.org
On December 14, 2012, our nation experienced an unspeakable tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. I continue to pray for the victims of this terrible event and their families and loved ones.
This tragedy has people across the country asking if there are steps that can be taken to prevent something like this from ever happening again. While a discussion about what can be done to prevent future tragedies is needed, I believe any discussion needs to be consistent with our rights, values and traditions.
Some Members of the House and Senate have proposed legislation to further regulate firearms. Many of these plans would ban the sale, transfer, and possession of certain types of firearms as well as high-capacity magazines. Recently, the President put his support behind these legislative efforts. I do not support reinstatement of the assault weapons ban in large part because the previous ban did not result in a significant reduction in gun violence according to federal data. Instead, I believe we should place a stronger focus on enforcing existing gun laws to keep weapons from those who, under law, are not allowed to possess them.
I do not believe it is productive to simply talk about banning guns. If we want to have a positive impact on increasing safety in our schools and communities, we should focus on improving recognition and treatment of mental illness and also look at addressing the violence that is so prevalent in our culture, including our television shows, movies and video games.
I have opposed gun control measures in the past and continue to support the individual right to keep and bear arms – a freedom written as a guarantee to Americans in the Constitution. I will be looking closely at the President's proposals, and will work to ensure the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners are not threatened. I believe we can still have a thoughtful debate about how to reduce gun violence while protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding South Dakotans.
Thanks again for reaching out to my office. Please let me know whenever I can be of assistance, and visit my website noem.house.gov to get more information on the latest congressional news important to South Dakota, or find me on Facebook or Twitter.
Member of Congress
- Congressman Steve Daines Montana At Large Congressional District Responds
- Max Baucus United States Senator from Montana Responds