There is a showdown over guns coming to the Senate Wednesday, but no firearms are allowed.
In advance of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday morning, two of the committee’s Republican members sent a complaint that they were refused permission to bring guns to the hearing.
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas sent a letter Tuesday night to Chairman Patrick Leahy, Vermont Democrat, that the purpose of bringing the firearms was to educate fellow Senators and “shatter the mistaken belief that guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens are a danger to society.”
However, the Republicans said that “the requirements to secure the weapons at the hearing are so impractical as to be unworkable.” They asked that Mr. Leahy work with with local and federal law enforcement to ensure that at future hearings, “Senators can request, and law enforcement will provide, various firearms for display and discussion purposes.” A spokesman for the committee said Tuesday night that Mr. Leahy has not received the senators’ letter.
Last week, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, found a loophole in the “assault weapon” ban in Washington to bring 10 rifles to her hearing as a prop intended to show that these same rifles should be prohibited on a national level. The Washington Metropolitan Police Department and Philadelphia Police Department brought the illicit weapons to the press conference, aided by the U.S. Capitol Police and the Senate Sergeant at Arms.
In contrast, the Republicans wanted to bring guns that are “not covered by any ban but routinely used for self protection and sporting purposes.”
The National Rifle Association (NRA) put out an alert late Tuesday asking its members to attend the Washington hearing. “NRA Executive Vice President, Wayne LaPierre, will be among those testifying,” said the statement from the organization’s lobbying arm, The Institute for Legislative Action. “You can bet the anti-gunners will be trying to mobilize their supporters to pack the hearing room and we need to make sure the room is filled with Second Amendment supporters!”
The hearing on the topic “What Should America Do About Gun Violence?” will be held at 10 a.m. in the Hart Senate Office Building, Room 216. It will be a sure fire way for Second Amendment supporters to make sure their voices are heard in the halls of Congress.
Emily Miller is senior editor of the opinion pages for The Washington Times. Her “Emily Gets Her Gun” series on the District’s gun laws won the 2012 Clark Mollenhoff Award for Investigative Reporting from the Institute on Political Journalism. Click here to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.