Sen. Ron Johnson tells Newsmax that measures designed to expand background checks on gun purchasers are in fact “speed bumps for law-abiding citizens” — and gun control efforts in general won’t prevent gun violence in the future.
The Wisconsin Republican was elected in 2010 and is a member of the Senate Budget and Foreign Relations Committees.
The Senate on Thursday voted 68-31 to open debate on proposals to expand background checks for gun buyers, tighten restrictions on gun trafficking, and increase funding for school security. Family members from the Newtown tragedy and other victims of gun violence have gone to Capitol Hill to read the names of those killed by gun violence.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV, Sen. Johnson was asked if their presence would likely influence legislators’ votes on gun control.
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“Obviously we are all touched by the tragedies that have occurred throughout the country,” he responds.
“I certainly wish, as I’m sure most of my colleagues wish, that there was a magic wand we could wave and just prevent all these tragedies. I just personally don’t think there’s anything we can do in Washington, D.C., that can prevent these things in the future — certainly not when we just isolate one component, which is guns.
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“This president pretty well promised, in taking a look at these tragedies, that he was going to do a comprehensive review and really analyze the full range of causes. Of course, he zeroed in immediately on guns, and I’m obviously concerned that any bill would infringe on our very basic Second Amendment right.”
As for the expansion of background checks contained in gun control legislation, Johnson says: “I am concerned. I know it sounds great, universal background checks, but basically what you’re doing is erecting speed bumps for law-abiding citizens. Criminals are always going to have access to guns and we just increase costs.
“There’s licensing fees to do these things, background check fees, and it just becomes a huge burden on law-abiding citizens and I just don’t want the federal government to solve all these problems. If the states want to do some of these things, let the states take care of some of these problems. I just do not believe this is under the purview of the federal government.”
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