Congressman Barr will continue to push for legislation to enhance public safety without jeopardizing the Second Amendment.

Washington, D.C.— U.S. Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) released the following statement after voting against the Murphy/Cornyn bill: 

“In the aftermath of the tragedy in Uvalde, I stated my desire to vote for legislation that enhances public safety, especially in our schools.  There are several components of the Senate proposal that I enthusiastically support, such as boosting grants for school security, funding to upgrade existing background check systems and funding to expand mental health services.

“However, I remain opposed to and deeply concerned about provisions in this proposal that would authorize grants for red flag laws without sufficient due process.  Specifically, I cannot in good conscience, consistent with the Constitution, enable the implementation of a “crisis intervention program” that would deprive Americans of their Second Amendment rights in an ex parte proceeding without a pre-deprivation opportunity to be heard, confront his or her accuser, with representation by counsel and subject to robust evidentiary standards.  Such a program, as contemplated in the legislation, could have the unintended consequence of disarming innocent but at-risk individuals who need a firearm for self-defense. 

“While I appreciate the efforts by Republican and Democrat negotiators in the Senate who developed this package, I firmly believe Congress is capable of passing legislation to reduce mass violence, prevent school shootings and combat rising crime without jeopardizing the fundamental constitutional rights of law-abiding American citizens. Accordingly, I cannot support the Murphy-Cornyn legislation.”

Congressman Barr has voted for multiple proposals to strengthen public safety in recent weeks. Today, Congressman Barr voted for the STOP II Act. This bill bolsters school safety by reprogramming $7 billion in unspent COVID funds to harden schools, placing more mental health counselors in schools and hiring new school resource officers throughout America to intervene before a troubled individual resorts to violence.

On Wednesday, Congressman Barr voted to pass the bipartisan Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022. This bill reauthorizes critical federal grant programs essential in delivering mental health resources to students to reduce violence, suicides, and overdoses, all of which are on the rise since the pandemic.