Respect for the Second Amendment Act by Tom Reynolds
Senators John Kennedy (R-La.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced the ‘Respect for the Second Amendment Act’ to protect an individual’s right to keep and bear arms. The legislation would codify the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen.
Kennedy said: “Congress has the ability to use its authority to guard against state overreach—and that is what this bill does. At a time when the constitutional right to keep and bear arms is under attack in courtrooms throughout America, we must ensure that the Supreme Court’s decision about the Second Amendment is not only legal precedent but that the law preserves it forever…The Supreme Court has spoken very clearly in Heller and Bruen on the Second Amendment: We have an individual right to own a gun.”
Kennedy added: “I also believe that love is the answer, but…I own a hand gun just in case.”
According to the bill’s announcement, The Respect for the Second Amendment Act would:
- Create public and private rights of action against any person who seeks to enforce a law, rule or ordinance that violates the constitutional right of an individual to manufacture for personal use, acquire, possess, own, carry, transport or use a privately owned firearm or privately owned ammunition unless that law is consistent with the U.S. Constitution and history of firearm regulation.
- Prohibit states from rejecting firearms licenses on the sole basis of the license originating under another state’s jurisdiction.
- Eliminate 18 U.S. Code § 927 so that, on a case-by-case basis, Congress can override state law when it proves an unconstitutional attempt to override the Second Amendment.
Section 2 of the bill (FINDINGS) is a good short summary of why this is necessary and Section 2 (6) strikes directly at Hochul and New York.
Section 3C gives us the right to recover ‘costs and a reasonable attorney fee’ if we have to sue because our rights are violated. The cost of these lawsuits has been a major factor which discourages people from taking to court these infringements of our rights.
This is an opportunity to contact your Senators, no matter what party, and tell them you support this bill and 2A. This bill gives the Senator the opportunity to support the Supreme Court decision in Bruen. This is especially important since Senator Gillibrand is coming up for reelection in 2024
In the House of Representatives, do the same and add that they should introduce a companion bill in the House.
Below is the actual bill
SECTION 1 SHORT TITLE
This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Respect for the Second Amendment Act’’.
SECTION 2 FINDINGS
Congress finds the following:
(1) The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States protects the individual right to keep and bear arms independent of service in an organized militia.
(2) The Supreme Court of the United States held in District of Columbia v. Heller, that ‘‘there seems to us no doubt, on the basis of both text and history, that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms.’’
(3) The Supreme Court further held in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, that the Second Amendment requires the government to demonstrate that a law regulating firearms ‘‘is consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation’’.
(4) The right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental individual right guaranteed by the Constitution and a cornerstone of the liberties that every United States citizen enjoys.
(5) The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution grants Congress the authority to enforce, by appropriate legislation, that Amendment’s command that ‘no State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States’.
(6) Certain States have enacted or are seeking to enact gun control laws that are inconsistent with the United States’ historical tradition of firearm regulation, including bans on the carrying of firearms by residents of other States and bans on large categories of firearms that are in common use for lawful purposes.
(7) It is therefore necessary for Congress to exercise its authority under the Fourteenth Amendment to ensure that the Second Amendment rights of all people of the United States are protected from infringement by the States.
(8) Congress has also exercised authority under the Taxing Clause and Commerce Clause of section 8 of article I of the Constitution to regulate the interstate market in firearms and ammunition.
SEC. 3. LIMITATIONS ON REGULATION OF FIREARMS.
(a) DEFINITION OF ‘‘FIREARM’’.
In this section, the term ‘‘firearm’’—
(1) has the meaning given the term in section 921 of title 18, United States Code; and
(A) an antique firearm, as defined in section 921 of title 18, United States Code (notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this subsection);
(B) an assembled or unassembled firearm; and
(C) any part of a firearm, including any integrated or detachable magazine or ammunition feeding device.
(b) NO ENFORCEMENT OR IMPLEMENTATION OF LAWS IN VIOLATION OF SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS.
No person acting under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage of the Federal Government, of any State or territory, of any locality, or of the District of Columbia may enforce or implement any Federal, State, or local law, rule, ordinance, or regulation that prohibits, limits, places requirements or conditions upon, or otherwise regulates the right of an individual to lawfully manufacture for personal use, acquire, possess, own, carry, transport, or use a privately owned firearm or privately owned ammunition unless the law, rule, ordinance, or regulation is consistent with the United States’ historical tradition of firearm regulation.
(1) PUBLIC RIGHT OF ACTION.
The Attorney General may bring a civil action for declaratory or injunctive relief in an appropriate district court of the United States against any person who violates subsection (b).
(2) PRIVATE RIGHT OF ACTION.
(A) IN GENERAL.—Any person who is harmed by a violation of subsection (b), or any membership organization that represents such a person, may bring a civil action for declaratory or injunctive relief in an appropriate district court of the United States against the person who committed the violation.
(B) COSTS AND FEES.—The court shall award costs and a reasonable attorney fee to any plaintiff who prevails in an action brought under subparagraph (A), including if the action is resolved by a negotiated settlement or mooted by repeal or amendment of the offending law, rule, regulation, prohibition, policy, or practice.
(d) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to—
(1) preempt any provision of State law that provides greater protections to the individual right to keep and bear arms than those provided under this section; or
(2) limit any other remedy available under the laws of a State or the United States for infringement of the right to lawfully manufacture for personal use, acquire, possess, own, carry, transport, or use a privately owned firearm or privately owned 2 ammunition.
SECTION 4 REPEALER.
Chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, is amended—
(1) by striking section 927; and
(2) in the table of sections, by striking the item 8 relating to section 927