Archive for January 23rd, 2013

.GOV responses

Posted January 23, 2013 By Ruth

To the form letter I sent via Ruger’s link.

I’m a little disappointed, of the 10 people it got sent to, only two bothered to respond with even a form letter of “thanks for contacting us….”.  Those two, not only sent out an initial form letter with in 24hrs, but also sent out a longer (probably still form letter, but more pointed) later.

The first was Senator Charles Schumer:

Dear [ScaryYankeeChick]:
 
     Thank you for contacting me regarding gun control legislation.  Like you, I believe the right to bear arms is guaranteed by the Constitution’s Second Amendment. The recent Supreme Court decisions reinforced this fact, but I believed that this was the case prior to those decisions.
 
           While I certainly respect the Second Amendment to the Constitution, I believe that we have a collective interest in keeping guns out of the hands of those who want to harm the innocent.  I believe it is possible to strike a reasonable balance.  I have long advocated for faster and more accurate background checks so legal purchasers can receive their guns quickly while ensuring criminals do not illegally purchase and possess firearms. In 2011, I proposed S. 436, the Fix Gun Checks Act to provide more funding to states to compile required background data for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).  This legislation builds on the National Rifle Association-supported NICS Improvements Amendment Act, passed by Congress in 2007.  Ensuring that this information is comprehensive and up to date will protect law enforcement from criminals with illegally obtained weapons while speeding up the process for purchasing legal firearms.  
 
     You may also be pleased to know that I have successfully fought to create new opportunities for law abiding citizens to exercise their right to use guns. For example, in the 109th Congress, I secured federal money to expand the scarce hunting grounds in New York State by creating a financial incentive for private landowners to allow hunters access to their property.
 
           Thank you for contacting me about this important issue.  Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can ever be of assistance to you on this, or any other matter.
 
 
Sincerely,
 
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator
 
 
The 2nd was Representative Richard Hanna:
 

Dear [ScaryYankeeChick],

Thank you for contacting my office regarding federal gun control legislation and the Presidential Actions put forward by President Obama on January 16, 2013.

As you may know, President Obama put forward a series of 23 Executive action items which the Administration believes will assist in reducing gun violence.  These actions spread across a broad spectrum of approaches, ranging from a broader background check system, to further research on the causes and prevention of gun violence, to the nomination of Minnesota U.S. Attorney Todd Jones as the Director of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), to allowing funds to be used for the hiring of school resource officers to improve safety in schools, to assisting schools, houses of worship, and institutions of higher education develop emergency response plans.  The full series of Presidential Actions may be reviewed at http://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions.

Although the ability to issue policy changes through the Executive branch is a long-standing privilege of presidential administrations, I am concerned with any unilateral action that is meant to usurp the powers of the legislative branch as enumerated in the Constitution. Over the years, the balance of power initially envisioned by our founders has shifted dramatically, sometimes granting executive agencies far too much power to act and regulate unilaterally. Costly federal regulations are often a great burden on individual Americans and our traditional values.

I strongly defend the Second Amendment and generally oppose new gun control laws because they are burdensome on law-abiding-citizens who choose to own a firearm for a variety of good reasons such as hunting or protection.  From the Adirondacks to the Finger Lakes, we’re blessed to live in a region with beautiful forests, lakes, and creeks here in Central New York.  Enjoying the outdoors is part of our tradition.  Hunting, recreational shooting, and trapping are not only healthy hobbies – they’re fundamental rights that need to be protected.  The rights defined within the Second Amendment are vital to preserve those activities, and I have consistently voted to uphold it.

Supporters of increased gun control argue that if only Congress regulates more, perhaps human tragedies such as those directed towards the students and faculty of Sandy Hook Elementary School or Columbine High School, the patrons of the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, or former Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona could have been prevented.  I believe we should punish violent criminals to the full extent of the law, especially repeat offenders, without unduly infringing upon the constitutional rights of law-abiding-citizens.

It is especially important to ensure that Executive branch agencies act in a manner that is responsible, appropriate, and most importantly, in accordance with our Constitution.  No agency, organization or person is above the law and each shall be held to the highest degree of accountability.  I do fear that such actions may infringe on the powers of the legislative branch as detailed in the Constitution.  I will continue to monitor these events closely and participate in any conversation on the issues that transpires within the House of Representatives.  I remain confident that in instances that appear to skirt the legal boundaries of our law, the Constitution will and should always prevail.

While I am sure you may not agree with every vote I cast representing you, you will always know my rationale for the decisions I make on the House floor. I am committed to open government and transparency, which is why I post updates from Washington and explanations for final passage votes on each House bill on my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/reprichardhanna.

Please do not hesitate to contact any of my offices in the future if I or my staff can be of assistance.  We work for you.

Warm Regards,

RICHARD HANNA
U.S. Representative