The debate over gun control is intensifying as we move into the 2020 election, and with that comes the need for the staunchest defense of our Second Amendment rights. At this year’s International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference in Chicago, President Trump took the stage to address the thousands of law enforcement leaders and partners who tackle crime in our communities and keep us safe.
At this event, the President took the opportunity to reiterate the dangers of gun control laws that endanger the rights of law-abiding citizens and do nothing to stop criminals that cause harm to our communities.
The location of this IACP address was also significant. While the number of murders in the nation dropped over the last two years, they remain a significant issue in Chicago – a city home to some of the nation’s most restrictive gun laws. Last year alone, 565 people were murdered in Chicago and countless others were injured by criminal violence.
There’s an aversion in the Windy City to holding criminals responsible for their crimes. Criminals arrested for gun crimes are turned back out on the street, only to be arrested again after they commit even more violent crimes.
The laws in place to protect society are ignored by criminals, courts and lawmakers alike. Instead, elected officials in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois enact ever more gun control laws that do nothing to fight crime and instead simply take the right to self-defense out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, literally.
Protecting Communities, Gun Rights
Criminals, by definition, ignore the law. They overwhelmingly obtain firearms through illegal means including theft and the black market.
Legislation to confiscate or limit lawful ownership of firearms doesn’t decrease crime. It does, however, make innocent law-abiding citizens more vulnerable.
We need to equip law enforcement officers with the tools they need to do their job to protect our communities and families while also ensuring the rights of U.S citizens are protected. That’s why the National Shooting Sports Foundation supports the Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act, which would increase penalties for those who steal and rob firearms from licensed firearms retailers.
The firearms industry supports President Trump in this fight and we are working for Real Solutions that keep our communities and law enforcement officers safe from violent criminals. What gun control proponents want are band-aid solutions that cover up the problem rather than face head-on the challenge of balancing genuine solutions while respecting the constitutional rights of gun owners.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel at National Shooting Sports Foundation.