Third District Congressman Lynn Westmoreland was one of several guest speakers talking about the Second Amendment at a “Day of Resistance” Rally at Bickley’s Lake in Thomaston on Saturday, Feb. 23. During his remarks, in which he referenced the United States giving assault weapons to Libya, Congressman Westmoreland stated, “If there is a bill that comes to the floor of the House, I’m going to try to put an amendment on it that says, anybody that we give a gun to, that can hold a 30-round clip, and is a semi-automatic, they will have to go through a criminal background check and an FBI terrorist watch list.”
The Thomaston Times’ staff writer covering the event misinterpreted the Congressman’s remarks, thinking he was referring to doing background checks on American citizens. But Westmoreland was actually referring to requiring background checks on people in foreign countries that have received guns from the U. S.
“I think there may have been some confusion with the congressman’s statement at the ‘Day of Resistance’ rally in Thomaston” said Leslie Shedd, Congressman Westmoreland’s communications director. “The amendment the congressman was discussing during his speech would not apply to American citizens – it would only apply to sales by the federal government to people overseas. Right now, the Obama Administration is sending weapons to foreign countries without requiring any of the background checks or limitations they are pushing for in the United States, including unstable countries in the Middle East like Libya and Syria.
“So if the president wants to try to violate American citizens’ right to bear arms, Congressman Westmoreland thinks he should be forced to apply those same standards when we are selling weapons overseas. If a bill comes up in Congress that requires background checks in order for a law-abiding American citizen to purchase a gun, then Congressman Westmoreland would introduce an amendment to that bill that would require a background check on every person whom the government sells or provides weapons to overseas. That background check must include checking the FBI’s terrorist watch list to make sure the person receiving the weapon does not pose a threat to the U.S. If the president wants to limit the size of magazines an American citizen can purchase, then the congressman will introduce an amendment to that bill that would limit the size of magazines we sell to people overseas as well.
“This is not in any way the congressman supporting background checks or any legislation that would limit an American citizens’ right to bear arms. It is to highlight the hypocrisy within the Obama Administration when it comes to guns. President Obama doesn’t trust American citizens with guns but has no problem selling guns to people overseas who may have ties to terrorist organizations without any background check or limits to the size of the magazine.”