Protecting Gun Owners in Bankruptcy Act of 2010

Floor Speech

Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Guns

* Mr. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 5827, the Protecting Gun Owners in Bankruptcy Act of 2010. This legislation will ensure that individuals' Second Amendment rights are secure when they enter into bankruptcy.

* In these challenging economic times, I have heard from families in Michigan's 15th Congressional District concerned they will lose their ability to protect themselves and their families should they enter into bankruptcy. As the Supreme Court recently ruled in Heller vs. the District of Columbia and confirmed in McDonald vs. Chicago, the Second Amendment affords individuals across the nation the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self defense. Hardworking Americans who have lost their jobs due to the economic downturn should not fear that they will be stripped of those rights because they are trying to turn their lives around through bankruptcy proceedings.

* Most States, including Michigan, do not protect gun owners in bankruptcy because firearms are not listed among the ``household goods'' exempt from the claims of creditors. In 2005, amendments to the bankruptcy code made it even more unlikely firearms would be considered a ``household good.'' However, H.R. 5827 changes that. Specifically, it permits firearms--rifles, pistols and shotguns, up to an aggregate value of $3,000--held primarily for the personal, family or household use of the debtor to be exempt from the claims of creditors under federal exemption law.

* Enacting H.R. 5827 will allow the citizens of Michigan and across the United States the ease of knowing they can protect themselves and their families in good times and bad. This is an important bill and I urge my colleagues to join me in voting for it.