Like many of you, I learned a lot of invaluable lessons from my grandfather. He grew up in Robeson County and worked for the railroad all his life. One of the things he taught me was the importance of a strong work ethic. As a city councilman in Roanoke Rapids for almost three decades, he showed me how to be a leader and how to serve our community. And as a husband, a father and a devoted Christian, he taught me to always put family first and have a strong relationship with the Lord. He is my hero and role model, and I enjoy and cherish every second I get to spend with him.
One thing my Granddaddy and I used to do together was experience the beauty of the outdoors and the thrill of hunting. Even though he’s no longer able to hunt with me, I think of him every time I’m in the woods. He inspired my passion for the outdoors, hunting and our Second Amendment rights. But the Second Amendment isn’t just about hunting or shooting sports. It’s so much more than that. Our right to keep and bear arms is a right that ensures our ability to protect all of our other rights. That’s why I refer to it as our first freedom. It’s a right that comes from God and can’t be taken away by the government. This fundamental freedom must be defended and protected.
Unfortunately, the Obama administration is relentlessly trying to force its gun control agenda and assault our Second Amendment rights. In yet another attempt to circumvent Congress, the administration sought to strip responsible gun owners of ammunition typically used in the most popular rifle. In February, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives tried to ban popular rifle ammunition that has been legally used by law-abiding American sportsmen for decades. By proposing a new framework that expanded the armor piercing ammunition ban to include AR-15 “green tip” bullets, the ATF sought to overturn decades-old settled law.
It was only after receiving intense pressure from Congress — myself included — and more than 80,000 public comments that the administration stalled its proposed ban. But as the clock ticks down on the final term of the Obama administration, they’re cooking up more than a dozen gun control regulations and have left the door open to reconsider future ammo bans. Having seen his gun control agenda fail in the Democratic-controlled Senate in the last Congress, President Obama is now resorting to acting unilaterally to achieve his goal. This last-ditch effort to unconstitutionally restrict one of our most fundamental rights has nothing to do with safety and security and everything to do with government control.
Last week I was able to get the House to approve my measure to prohibit the ATF from banning “green-tip” ammo. By barring taxpayer dollars from being used to reclassify M855 or SS109 type ammunition as armor piercing, my amendment puts an end to this attack on our Second Amendment rights and ensures this popular ammunition remains available and not subject to any future ATF bans.
Rest assured, I will continue to stand up against this overreach and keep the influence of Washington’s bureaucrats out of our lives and their hands off of our freedoms and off our guns.