Second Amendment Rights

Floor Speech

Date: March 23, 2016
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GIBBS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commend the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this week regarding the Second Amendment.

By overturning the decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court, the Court has reaffirmed not only that Americans have the right to self- defense, but also that stun guns are covered under the Second Amendment.

The case began when a woman named Jaime Caetano was continually threatened by an abusive ex-boyfriend who, at one point, put her in the hospital. At the urging of a friend, she began carrying a stun gun for protection.

After an incident that a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend failed to prevent, the threat of a nonlethal device prevented any harm of Ms. Caetano. Yet, Massachusetts had previously outlawed the ownership of stun guns, and she was arrested.

Massachusetts' highest court sided against the Supreme Court's Heller decision, which set clear standards for the Second Amendment. The Supreme Court Justices clearly saw the foolishness in the State court's decision and reversed it this week, reasserting that the right to bear arms ``extends to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence'' when our Nation was founded.

This is a reminder that the rights of all Americans must be defended vigilantly by every generation. I commend the Supreme Court for its decision and Justice Alito for his concurring opinion that gives individuals in all States a necessary nonlethal option for protection against violence.