This week the Senate spent several days debating and voting on the different amendments to the Senate gun-control legislation, S. 649. I have long been a supporter of the Second Amendment and voted as I always have – to uphold the Constitutional rights of law-abiding American citizens. I voted against the Manchin-Toomey Amendment, which failed, along with the Feinstein “Assault Weapon” Ban. To read my full statement on the Manchin-Toomey amendment, click here.
During the debate on S. 649, I introduced amendment 720, based on a piece of legislation that I introduced on March 14th, 2013, that would protect veterans’ Second Amendment rights. Currently, veterans who have a VA appointed fiduciary to help them with their benefits are deemed “mentally defective” and are reported to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), a system which prevents them from being able to purchase firearms in the United States. The Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act would require that a judicial authority determine that VA beneficiaries pose a danger to themselves or others before they can be added to the FBI’s NICS. Read morehere.
Yesterday morning, Senator Moran, Senator Sanders, and myself hosted a roundtable to discuss the state of veteran entrepreneurship across the country. Bringing together individuals from several veteran-owned businesses and representatives from related organizations, we had a very productive discussion on how current programs may be improved to better support veteran entrepreneurs and how we can address the issues that continue to hold back these veterans from pursuing their dreams.
I co-sponsored a joint resolution that would designate July 26 as “United States Intelligence Professionals Day” to honor intelligence officers, past and present, for their service and professionalism. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the men and women in our intelligence community who rarely receive the recognition they deserve due to the confidential nature of many of their assignments. This bipartisan bill represents a small way we can acknowledge their vital service to our nation and express our gratitude.
Finally, reflecting back on the past couple of days, I want to reiterate my thoughts and prayers for all of those who have been affected by the Boston bombings and the West, Texas plant explosion. As the Boston bombing investigation unfolds, we will continue to monitor the situation and pursue more information that will help us uncover how and why this happened.