Several gun groups have issued statements regarding the nomination of William Barr as U.S. Attorney General by President Trump.
The Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC), sent a letter to Sen. McConnell and Sen. Graham on Wednesday urging the leaders to withhold consent to Barr being confirmed as Attorney General. In the letter, it describes concerns about statements made by Mr. Barr in a recent confirmation hearing regarding his belief that “there is room for reasonable regulation” of the Second Amendment. The letter also addresses concerns of Barr’s support for Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs), also referred to as “red flag laws.” The FPC maintains that, “The Constitution, the People of the United States, and law-abiding gun owners do not need another enemy.”
Gun Owners of America expressed similar concern with Barr’s nomination. The organization mailed an action alert to gun owners to call their Senators and let them know they oppose Barr because of his alleged anti-gun position. GOA’s Executive Director Erich Pratt, said “…when Barr openly spat on the right to keep and bear arms on Tuesday — and threatened to break down our doors in the middle of the night in order to confiscate our guns — well, that’s a problem for us. Listening to William Barr, there is no doubt that he will be an enemy of the Second Amendment. He even talks like an anti-gunner.”
Dr. John Lott, the President of the Crime Research Prevention Center, released a statement before Barr’s confirmation hearings sharing similar sentiments. “ERPOs allow courts to confiscate people’s guns merely on the basis of ‘reasonable grounds,’ but the laws never spell out exacting criteria for meeting these evidentiary thresholds. If gun control advocates think that people should lose the right to self-defense because of a simple arrest, there is a real concern that blacks and Hispanics will be disproportionately targeted by these laws since both groups have much higher arrest rate records than whites. There is a real concern whether Barr will fight against what will obviously be such discriminatory laws.”
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, however, made a statement that Barr would protect gun owners and their Second Amendment rights. The organization maintains that gun owners can trust that Mr. Barr will protect gun rights and focus efforts to reduce criminal misuse of firearms. Mr. Barr explained in his testimony that when he previously served as attorney general, he held then, as now, that the Second Amendment is an individual right that includes the right to possess modern sporting rifles, which he said the Heller decision vindicated his convictions. He rejected calls for bans of these semi-automatic rifles and said efforts that don’t focus on keeping firearms from prohibited individuals are rhetoric.