Texas gun rights lobby pushing back on calls for new laws

Gun rights advocates gather outside the Texas Capitol where Texas Gov. Greg Abbott held a round table discussion, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019, in Austin, Texas. Abbott is meeting in Austin with officials from Google, Twitter and Facebook as well as officials from the FBI and state lawmakers to discuss ways of combatting extremism in light of the recent mass shooting in El Paso that reportedly targeted Mexicans.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part one of a two-part commentary. See Monday’s edition for part two.


Most folks have their mind made up, pro-Second Amendment or anti-Second Amendment. However, if there are some who need more information to decide, this is for you.

With so much fake news, political party misguided beliefs, greed, whom are you to believe? Please, do your research, dig, check and recheck. Most opinions I read in The Paris News about the purpose of the Second Amendment are not based on history. The Bill of Rights was not intended to be fluid documents changing with the changing of the guard, as the saying goes.

If you want the truth about the creation of our Constitution, look no further than “The Federalist Papers.” They are a collection of 85 articles and essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay under the pseudonym “Publius” to promote the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. The collection was commonly known as “The Federalist” until the name “The Federalist Papers” emerged in the 20th century. Find them at www.congress.gov/resources/display/content/The+Federalist+Paper/.

This is in response to my dear friend Mr. Bob Bush’s multiple letters asking, “Where did you go to school?” I am touched that he also presents the same question to our Supreme Court justices. It appears that if you don’t agree with his understanding of the Second Amendment, you did not learn anything in school. Mr. Bush has a few years on me, but I have been around over three-quarters of a century, and what I learned in school only taught me how to learn.

I respect his right to express his thoughts as the First Amendment mandates such. I also expect him to respect my Second Amendment right to defend myself, mine and country.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Mr. Bush is absolutely correct in that we have been entangled in a modifier.

Please research for yourself the information I’m relaying as my list is brief and not complete. I am listing the years that the Second Amendment has been “modified” after its ratification on Dec. 15, 1791.

On June 26, 1934, the National Firearms Act was meant to curtail “gangland crimes” by Al Capone and types. The courts concluded they could not ban short-barrel shotguns and rifles, machine guns, silencers and such “due to constitutional flaws,” but could tax them to curtail their transfer. A $200 tax was imposed on the transfer of these weapons, which is still in effect today.

The 1938 federal Firearms Act required firearms manufacturers, importers and dealers to obtain federal firearms license. It also defined a group of people, including convicted felons, who could not purchase firearms.

In 1939, the U.S. Supreme Court heard the case United States v. Miller, ruling that through the National Firearms Act of 1934, Congress could regulate the interstate selling of short-barrel shotguns.

The Gun Control Act of 1968 repealed and replaced the FFA, updated Title II of the NFA to “fix constitutional issues,” added language about “destructive devices” (such as bombs, mines and grenades) and expanded the definition of “machine gun.”

In 1986, the Firearm Owners Protection Act was passed by Congress. The law mainly enacted protection for gun owners — prohibiting a national registry of dealer records, limiting ATF inspections, softening what is defined as “engaging in the business” of selling firearms, and allowing licensed dealers to sell firearms at “gun shows” in their state.

It also prohibited civilian ownership or transfer of machine guns made after May 19, 1986.

Charley Keys is a resident of Paris.

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