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Second Amendment

As your representative in Washington, D.C., I approach gun-related bills with a goal of protecting the right of Kansans to own guns for shooting, hunting, and self-protection. I also believe that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to own a firearm.

I am working to educate my colleagues from urban districts about the integral role of guns in rural life. The Second District of Kansas includes some of the best deer and turkey hunting lands in the state as well as hundreds of independent farmers who protect their crops and livestock against vermin. In the early days of this country hunting played an essential role in providing food. While modern grocery stores minimize hunting as a necessity, it remains a tradition that parents proudly pass down to their children. I am dedicated to preserving this way of life and the essential role that guns play in it.

Preserving access to hunting lands is just as important to preserving access to hunting weapons. Since 1995, Kansas has opened over one million acres of private land to public hunting through its WIHA (Walk In Hunting Access) program. I am working to expand conservation and public hunting-access programs.

In 2008, the Supreme Court took up the case DC vs. Heller, a challenge to the strict handgun ban in Washington, DC. For the first time in more than 80 years, the Court had to interpret the meaning of the Constitution’s Second Amendment:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” 

Previously, the Court had interpreted this sentence to mean that gun ownership was protected only as part of membership in militias.  When the court was deciding the course, I joined over 300 members of Congress in signing an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) legal brief which argued that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to bear arms, regardless of any militia membership.

On June 26, 2008, the Court announced its decision. It recognized that the Constitution guarantees an individual’s right to own firearms, and it struck down the DC handgun ban as unconstitutional. You can read the full decision at: