Sep 26 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Thom Tillis and 20 of his Republican colleagues recently introduced the Protecting the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Act which would prevent the President and the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) from declaring a public health emergency to impose gun control. 

Earlier this month, the Governor of New Mexico instituted a public health emergency for the purposes of suspending the 2nd Amendment-protected carrying of firearms. This comes after years of activist groups encouraging the Biden administration, specifically HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, to take the same path to impose gun control by executive fiat.

Recently, the Washington Post reported that the Biden Administration plans to create a new Office of Gun Violence Prevention in response to “stalled” progress in Congress. A high-profile activist from the Community Justice Action Fund, an organization dedicated to declaring a national gun violence public health emergency, will serve in a key role in the new office.

“The illegal action by the Governor of New Mexico to suspend the 2nd Amendment through a public health emergency should be concerning to every American,” said Senator Tillis. “I am deeply concerned that this stunt might be replicated on the national level by a left-wing politician in an effort to enact gun control, and Congress must take action to prevent that from ever happening. I am proud to co-introduce this legislation that would stop that from ever happening so we can protect the Constitutional rights of North Carolinians.” 

Specifically, the Protecting the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Act would:      

  • Prohibit the President, or their designee, from declaring an emergency pursuant to the National Emergencies Act or major disaster pursuant to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act in order to impose gun control.
  • Prevent the Secretary of Health and Human Services from declaring a public health emergency pursuant to the Public Health Service Act for the purpose of imposing gun control.
  • Prevent any government official from prohibiting the manufacture, sale, or transfer of a firearm or ammunition during a disaster or emergency.

This legislation is endorsed by the Gun Owners of America.