Republican Rep. Seeks to Designate Gun Industry as ‘Critical Infrastructure’

Kiley Russell (L) speaks to salesman Jason Zielinski as she she gets information about buying a gun before taking her concealed carry certification test at the Eagle Sports gun range in Oak Forest, Illinois, July 16, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / JIM YOUNG / With AFP Story by Nova SAFO: …
JIM YOUNG/AFP via Getty Images

Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) is sponsoring legislation to designate the firearm industry as “critical infrastructure.”

Such a designation will remove Democrat governors’ ability to shut down the supply chain for firearms during a pandemic, as so many governors did during coronavirus lockdowns.

Rep. Newhouse’s legislation is titled, the Second Amendment is Essential Act.

The introductory paragraph to the Act states its purpose as “[directing] the Secretary of Homeland Security to designate the business of importing, manufacturing, or dealing firearms, or importing or manufacturing ammunition pursuant to section 923 of title 18, United States Code, as a critical infrastructure sector.”

He commented on the bill, saying:

It is always unconstitutional for government to restrict the rights of law-abiding gun owners, but to do so in the midst of a crisis is especially unconscionable. By denying Federal Firearms Licensees the ability to operate under “essential worker” designations, Governors across the country, including Jay Inslee, have not only infringed on the Second Amendment rights of Americans, but have recklessly tied the hands of our law enforcement officers who require access to these tools to ensure the safety of our communities. This legislation protects law-abiding citizens’ ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights and prevents future anti-gun restrictions that restrict lawful access to firearms in times of emergency.

National Shooting Sports Foundation senior vice president Larry Keane voiced support for Newhouse’s Act, saying:

The firearm industry is deeply appreciative of the leadership and commitment of Congressman Newhouse to ensure the men and women in our industry can deliver for law-abiding American citizens without interference under the guise of a declared health emergency or disaster. This is exactly what happened in last year’s COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns. Politicians overreached on their authority and were only forced back under the threat of legal action. This necessary legislation is critical to prevent an administration that is hostile to lawful firearm ownership from using an emergency declaration to shutter the industry and deny Americans the ability to approach the gun counter.

Newhouse’s bill has 28 cosponsors.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.

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