Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Pelosi Claims Future President Could Use “National Emergency” to Target Guns

Friday, February 22, 2019

Pelosi Claims Future President Could Use “National Emergency” to Target Guns

First, gun control supporters supposedly wanted a “national conversation” on gun violence. Then they purported to want Congress to enact so-called “common sense gun reform.” Now some anti-gun lawmakers are dispensing with any pretense of good or constitutional governance and revealing that they are willing to target guns and gun owners by executive fiat.

On February 14, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) held a press conference where she excoriated President Donald Trump for his plan to declare a national emergency in order to shift funding to the construction of barriers along the Southern border. During her remarks, Pelosi declared,

Just think of what a president with different values can present to the American people. Want to talk about a national emergency? Let’s talk about today, the one year anniversary of another manifestation of the epidemic of gun violence in America. That’s a national emergency. Why don’t you declare that emergency Mr. President? I wish you would. But a Democratic president can do that. A Democratic President can declare emergencies as well.

Pelosi’s characterization of gun violence as an epidemic or national emergency is incorrect. Since 1991, the murder rate has fallen by 45 percent and the overall violent crime rate has fallen by 48 percent. At the same time that violent crime was falling, Americans were acquiring a record number of firearms.

Moreover, there is not an epidemic of the type of violence Pelosi cited. In 2018, researchers from Northeastern University led by Professor of Criminology James Alan Fox shared research that determined, “shooting incidents involving students have been declining since the 1990s.”

In fact, Fox was quoted in the article that presented the research as stating, “there is not an epidemic of school shootings.”

It is unclear from Pelosi’s vague comments what type of executive action she contemplates a future anti-gun president taking. Taking to Twitter the following day, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) offered more detail, “If Trump gets away w this border emergency declaration, then a Dem President can declare a gun violence emergency and institute universal background checks and an assault weapons ban by executive action.”

Under the National Emergencies Act, when tasked with a pressing matter a president may declare a national emergency in order to activate certain statutory powers the Congress has authorized that would otherwise be unavailable to him. In this instance, President Trump has cited the power provided by 10 U.S.C. 2808, which permits the executive branch to undertake military construction projects in the event of a declared national emergency, in order to shift funds to the construction of a border wall.

There is no analogous statute that would authorize the executive branch to enact long-rejected gun control policies following the declaration of a national emergency.

Rather, thanks to an NRA-supported provision, federal law explicitly prohibits federal authorities from taking certain actions in relation to firearms and firearms owners pursuant to an “emergency.”

42 U.S.C. 5207 states,

                (a) Prohibition on confiscation of firearms

No officer or employee of the United States (including any member of the uniformed services), or person operating pursuant to or under color of Federal law, or receiving Federal funds, or under control of any Federal official, or providing services to such an officer, employee, or other person, while acting in support of relief from a major disaster or emergency, may--

(1) temporarily or permanently seize, or authorize seizure of, any firearm the possession of which is not prohibited under Federal, State, or local law, other than for forfeiture in compliance with Federal law or as evidence in a criminal investigation;

(2) require registration of any firearm for which registration is not required by Federal, State, or local law;

(3) prohibit possession of any firearm, or promulgate any rule, regulation, or order prohibiting possession of any firearm, in any place or by any person where such possession is not otherwise prohibited by Federal, State, or local law; or

(4) prohibit the carrying of firearms by any person otherwise authorized to carry firearms under Federal, State, or local law, solely because such person is operating under the direction, control, or supervision of a Federal agency in support of relief from the major disaster or emergency.

Moreover, as the Congressional Research Service correctly pointed out in 2007 report on National Emergency Powers, “With the exception of the habeas corpus clause, the Constitution makes no allowance for the suspension of any of its provisions during a national emergency.” This, of course, includes the Second Amendment.

As for Sen. Murphy’s national emergency semi-automatic gun ban fantasy, Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion in the U.S. Supreme Court case District of Columbia v. Heller explained that the Second Amendment protects ownership of firearms “in common use at the time” for “lawful purposes like self-defense.” In 2015, Justice Scalia made clear that this includes firearms such as the AR-15 when he signed onto a dissent from denial of certiorari written by Justice Clarence Thomas that noted,

Roughly five million Americans own AR-style semiautomatic rifles. The overwhelming majority of citizens who own and use such rifles do so for lawful purposes, including self-defense and target shooting. Under our precedents, that is all that is needed for citizens to have a right under the Second Amendment to keep such weapons.

Any effort to ban these commonly-owned firearms, under the guise of a national emergency or otherwise, is unconstitutional.

Desperate to enact federal gun control policies repeatedly rejected by the American people through their elected representatives and attack President Trump, anti-gun lawmakers have stooped to a fresh low. This latest outburst reveals not only their disdain for Second Amendment rights, but for our constitutional form of governance.

TRENDING NOW
NRA Member Berated for Carrying Firearm

News  

Friday, August 2, 2019

NRA Member Berated for Carrying Firearm

NRA member Darrell Kennedy was on vacation with his family at Yellowstone National Park earlier this month when an anti-gun vacationer snapped a photo of his holstered firearm and tweeted out a hate message. “Sat ...

Monday, August 19, 2019

Florida Alert! "Assault Weapons" Ban Amendment Bans ALL SEMIAUTOMATIC RIFLES AND SHOTGUNS

The so-called "assault weapons" ban that is proposed for a constitutional amendment to be on the 2020 Election Ballot bans the possession of: “any semiautomatic rifle or shotgun CAPABLE of holding more than ten (10) rounds ...

Bill Clinton Touts Failed Gun Ban With Bogus Info

News  

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Bill Clinton Touts Failed Gun Ban With Bogus Info

Bill and Hillary Clinton just don’t draw like they used to. Shunned by much of his own party, (described by one Vanity Fair commentator as “2020’s bubonic plague”) the former president has been relegated to providing lazy ...

Amnesty International’s Desperate Measure

News  

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Amnesty International’s Desperate Measure

There are some odd dynamics in international relations. Countries in which people are not free serve on the UN Human Rights Council. Political considerations guide every action.  Of course, the NRA is a single-issue organization so ...

Tell Your U.S. Senators and Representative to Oppose Gun Control

News  

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Tell Your U.S. Senators and Representative to Oppose Gun Control

In the wake of the recent two criminal mass attacks, a number of gun control proposals have begun to circulate in our nation’s capital. None of these proposals would have prevented the recent tragedies, but they all ...

Important Statement from NRA CEO & Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre

News  

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Important Statement from NRA CEO & Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre

The NRA will work in good faith to pursue real solutions to the epidemic of violence in America.

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Kamala Harris and Her Perplexing Anti-Gun Ideas

News  

Friday, August 2, 2019

Kamala Harris and Her Perplexing Anti-Gun Ideas

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), one of the two-dozen Democrat presidential hopefuls vying to take on President Donald Trump in 2020, has been promoting her anti-gun platform for many months. This isn’t really news, as ...

“Universal” Background Checks Aren’t as Universally Popular as You’ve Been Led to Believe

News  

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

“Universal” Background Checks Aren’t as Universally Popular as You’ve Been Led to Believe

Advocates of so-called “universal” background checks constantly cite their own polling data to claim that the vast majority of Americans support these measures. But, when these measures have actually been presented to voters, support is ...

California Federal Judge: Semi-automatics and Machineguns are “Virtually Indistinguishable”

News  

Friday, August 2, 2019

California Federal Judge: Semi-automatics and Machineguns are “Virtually Indistinguishable”

The ever-gushing fount of legal imagination that is California has provided the rest of America with another head-scratcher. On July 22, Judge Josephine L. Statonof the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California granted ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.