Senator Mike Braun offered an amendment on Thursday to the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act that would prevent President Biden and the Department of Health and Human Services from declaring gun violence a public health emergency for the purpose of instituting gun control measures and infringing on Americans’ Second Amendment rights.
“National and local politicians across the country are always trying to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens,” Sen. Braun said. “We need to set into law that no one can declare a national health emergency to seize the power to restrict our Second Amendment rights with the stroke of a pen. I will always stand up for Hoosiers’ rights to protect themselves and their families.”
President Biden, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, and Senator Alex Padilla have called for gun violence public health emergencies.
Senator Braun’s amendment would protect Americans’ right to bear arms from executive branch infringement by affirming that the HHS Secretary does not have the authority to institute gun control by declaring gun violence a public health emergency.
Senator Braun’s remarks during the markup meeting of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee:
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans saw Big Government flourish and many of our constitutional rights be diminished. More and more, big government wants to turn everything into a national emergency.
“Recently, the Secretary of Health and Human Services advocated for gun violence to be declared a public health emergency to grant HHS power to restrict Americans’ right to keep and bear arms. The Department of Health and Human Services was never intended to implement gun control of any kind.
“My amendment would simply prohibit HHS from declaring a public health emergency to implement gun control. I urge my colleagues to vote yes on my amendment.”