KINDERHOOK – In the aftermath of the tragic school shooting in Florida, there has rightly been much discussion about gun violence. It is vitally important that this debate be fact-based and not be laced with misleading and partisan claims. Last year, Congress voted to repeal an Obama Administration rule which would have placed over 75,000 people on disability rolls on the background checklist — even for cases of eating disorders.
I voted to repeal that rule because it eliminated due process protections for those on disability. Instead of the government first having to prove that someone should be disqualified, the rule would have put the burden of proof on the individual. Switching this burden is not consistent with constitutional due process, which is why the ACLU and Second Amendment groups supported my position.
There were clear lapses in handling of reliable citizen reports as (to) the instability of the Florida shooter. Indeed, we now know that the FBI received not one, but two explicit warnings about this shooter and that the local sheriff’s office also received multiple warnings about this disturbed young man, but nothing was done.
It is fair to ask whether laws should be changed which permit someone under 21 to acquire a firearm of this type. This school shooter should have been ineligible to purchase not just an AR-15, but any firearm whatsoever. I will demand answers as to why citizen reports of impending danger were ignored. Victim families and the entire nation deserve no less.
U.S. Rep. John Faso
R-Kinderhook, Washington, D.C.