Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the United States Attorney General following an often-bitter debate that saw Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) silenced under a little-used rule, and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) accuse him of pushing “extreme policies” during his time in the Senate.
Sessions, of Alabama, is seen as a veteran conservative who could rein in the Justice Department and change its course. To that end, many in the firearms community are now wondering whether Sessions will take an action suggested two months ago by the Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
Those organizations encouraged President Donald Trump to ask his attorney general to name a special assistant whose job would be to protect Second Amendment rights.
“In the past,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “the Department of Justice has taken action against various other civil and constitutional rights abuses. It is time for the DOJ to prosecute violations of the Second Amendment and federal laws including the Firearms Owners Protection Act, by state and local governments. State and local governments that adopt laws designed specifically to infringe on the rights of honest firearms owners or discourage people from exercising their right to keep and bear arms for legitimate reasons, including self-defense should be held accountable.”
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If Sessions were to do that, it would be the first time that the Justice Department brought its full force against state and local laws that critics say infringe on the right to keep and bear arms. In the crosshairs could be arbitrary licensing regulations that allow local bureaucrats and police officials to deny carry permits to law-abiding citizens on little more than a whim. States such as New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Massachusetts, and California, could wind up having to defend restrictive gun laws.
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