Representative Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM 3rd)
5th-term Democrat from New Mexico.
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All messages are published with permission of the sender. The general topic of this message is Civil Liberties:
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Rep. Ben Lujan
Sen. Tom Udall
Sen. Martin Heinrich

February 18, 2013

 I am writing you regarding the current legislation that is being proposed to create new laws regarding gun bans, magazine capacity restrictions, and gun registration. I am a law abiding gun owner that has spent his entire life around firearms. My father is a hunter safety instructor who instilled the importance of respecting firearms at a young age. Words cannot express the sympathy that I feel for the tragedies that have occurred as a result of gun violence, but I feel that using these tragedies to appeal to the emotional response of people to enact new gun laws is extremely insensitive.
I have been following the news on developments related to proposed changes to the gun laws and I have seen very little indication any of these laws would do any good. The only people that will be hurt by these proposed laws will be the law abiding citizens that purchase firearms legally. Criminals will not be hampered by these laws. By definition, they lie, cheat, and steal what they want or need. I do agree that required background checks for firearm transfers could be beneficial and I am all for those. I do not want guns in the hands of criminals and if that makes it more difficult for them to get guns, let’s do it, but in a smart manner.
I have reviewed the FBI crime database and read many articles on violent crimes in the US since the previous gun ban was put in place. According to those statistics, I did not see any evidence that the ban had any effect on gun violence. Memos recently released by the Justice Department mention similar statistical evidence. Handguns appear to be used much more than any other firearm in violent crime, yet I see no mention of a handgun ban….yet.
The 2nd Amendment gives every American citizen the RIGHT to keep and bear arms. Do you really think it is a coincidence that it immediately follows the 1st Amendment? Where will things go from here if we start picking away at the rights of the citizens? If these kinds of proposals were being made regarding the 1st Amendment, how would you feel? Especially considering that there is no statistical evidence to even indicate that the proposed gun laws will have ANY effect on violent crime.
If the energy that has been spent on these proposed gun laws was spent looking at the reasons behind these violent incidents, we might be going somewhere. The use of fear mongering to get people emotionally stirred up to pass poorly thought out legislation is both insulting and disappointing. I am a voting member of this country and I vote for people that I believe will support the Constitution and do their best to move this country forward. I ask that you vote against any proposed gun bans, magazine restrictions, or gun registration legislation. I appreciate your service and thank you for your time.
I am your constituent and I vote, please represent me.

Santa Fe , NM