Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Libertarian Party Urges 'No' Vote on Holder

America’s third-largest political party urged the Senate Wednesday to reject the nomination of Eric Holder to be Attorney General, citing his record of hostility to Second Amendment rights.

“The Attorney General is expected to defend our Constitutional rights, not infringe them,” said Libertarian Party spokesman Donny Ferguson. “Gun owners value the precious rights protected by the Second Amendment, and they demand the Senate reject this nomination.”

Nominated by President Barack Obama to lead the Justice Department, Holder earned the ire of gun rights groups while Deputy Attorney General under then-President Bill Clinton, from 1997 to 2000.

Holder supported mandatory licensing and registration of gun owners, banning certain types of legal ammunition, waiting periods for handgun purchases, restricting law-abiding gun owners to purchase only one gun a month and regulations intended to drive gun shows out of existence.

Holder was also a key figure in a 2000 attempt by the Clinton administration to sue several firearms manufacturers who did not agree to restrict certain lawful sales, despite the fact Congress earlier rejected such proposed rules.

The companies were told the government lawsuits would be dropped if they agreed to restrict certain sales to lawful purchasers and stop manufacturing certain types of legal firearms. Only one, Smith & Wesson, agreed.

Holder also sided against gun rights in the Supreme Court’s 2008 District of Columbia v. Heller case seeking to overturn Washington, D.C.’s gun control laws. In a brief, Holder argued the Second Amendment confers collective rights on the government and does not protect individual rights of Americans. The Court ruled otherwise, declaring gun ownership to be an individual right.

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