Newhouse pushes Second Amendment is Essential Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., is sponsoring a bill that would categorize the firearms industry as “critical infrastructure” and those who make, sell and repair guns and ammunition as essential workers. The bill has support from some Columbia Basin officials, including Moses Lake Police Chief Kevin Fuhr. Newhouse introduced on Tuesday the “Second Amendment is Essential Act” to amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and the Patriot Act, passed nearly 20 years ago following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, to add the manufacture, importation and selling of firearms and ammunition to the list of businesses and industries essential to U.S. safety and security in times of emergency as currently defined by federal law. Under both the Homeland Security Act and the Patriot Act, the president of the United States was empowered to identify industries and sectors of the U.S. economy that are critical to national security and public safety. The current list, maintained by the federal government’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, includes 16 specific sectors: chemicals, commercial facilities, communications, critical manufacturing (metals, vehicles, engines and electric motors), dams, the defense industry, emergency services, energy, financial services, food and agriculture, government, health care, information technology, nuclear power and materials, transportation, and water and wastewater treatment. In a press release, Newhouse said the measure would prevent state governors from infringing upon Second Amendment rights during a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic and keep law enforcement officers adequately equipped. “This legislation protects law-abiding citizens’ ability to exercise […]

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