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Press Release Published: Jul 27, 2022

Comer: Republicans Target Criminals, Democrats Target Lawful Gun Owners

WASHINGTON—House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) opened today’s hearing on “Examining the Practices and Profits of Gun Manufacturers” by criticizing Democrats’ failed gun control policies that target lawful firearm owners. He pointed out that the Supreme Court recently affirmed the right of self-defense enshrined in the Second Amendment and blasted Democrats for targeting American industry instead of criminals. Instead of vilifying American companies, Ranking Member Comer urged Democrats to conduct oversight of the Biden Administration’s self-inflicted crises that are impacting Americans. Democrats have not held a single hearing with a cabinet-level official this Congress despite Republicans calling for multiple hearings with Biden Administration officials as witnesses.

Below are Ranking Member Comer’s prepared remarks.

Thank you, Chairwoman Maloney.     

As elected representatives in Congress, it’s our responsibility to work to ensure the law is enforced to reduce violent crime.

The violence that began during the summer of 2020 continues to increase. Murders are up. Aggravated assaults are up. 

We must reverse this trend.

Ironically, cities with the worst crime rates are the hardest place to buy guns. Years of gun control laws in cities like New York and Chicago have failed.

That’s why I will continue to fight to protect the rights of all law-abiding gun owners who safely use, store, and carry firearms – including the AR-15 which is the most popular rifle in the United States.

It has become clear that the two parties in Washington have very different solutions of putting an end to the violent crime wave across the nation.

Republicans want to target criminals – Democrats want to target lawful gun owners and take away their guns.

We all took an oath to support and defend the Constitution. 

The Second Amendment ensures the rights of individuals to keep and bear arms and defend themselves in times of danger.

Just recently the Supreme Court reaffirmed our right of self-defense enshrined in the Second Amendment.

Meanwhile, Democrats and President Biden continue to blame American companies for various national crises that their policies have made worse.

From the price of gasoline to the surge in violent crime, Democrats are quick to point the finger at American industry.

Their targets today – the American firearm industry.

What did the American firearm industry do wrong? Their customers are allowed to lawfully buy guns. 

Their customers are allowed to exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms for their protection and other lawful purposes.

Gun manufacturers do not cause violent crime – criminals cause violent crime.

As the Democrats continue their obsession with vilifying American companies, they refuse to conduct any oversight over the Biden Administration and the federal government. 

It is not surprising that the Lugar Center, a nonpartisan congressional rating group, has given the Democrats on our committee an F rating for oversight.

Democrats have no problem with subpoenaing oil companies and private citizens. Yet we haven’t heard from a single Biden Administration cabinet secretary this Congress.

When are they going to get a subpoena?

We invited Attorney General Garland to today’s hearing since he’s responsible for agencies like the FBI and ATF.  He’s not here.

In February we invited Department of Energy Secretary Granholm to talk about gas prices. She couldn’t make it.

Just this week, we learned that Democrats get the same response from the Administration as Republicans: they refuse to show up.

After both EPA and FAA rejected an invitation to tomorrow’s Environment Subcommittee hearing, Democrats were so desperate to secure the participation of the Administration that they “offered to change the scope of the hearing so that both agencies would be comfortable testifying.” It looks like they still aren’t going to show up.

Americans are suffering from the effects of an open border, including fentanyl streaming across into the hands of our youth, inflation at a 40-year high, and last month gas prices hit a record of over $5 per gallon nationwide. 

Madam Chairwoman, it’s time that we hear directly from the people in the Administration making policy decisions impacting the lives of all Americans.

I would like to enter into the record a letter from Democrat Subcommittee Chair Khanna expressing exasperation with the EPA for not appearing at a hearing tomorrow.

I would also like to enter into the record a letter that Committee Republicans sent you today stating that we support issuing subpoenas to Administration officials if they are not appearing voluntarily.

Let’s hold the Administration to the same standard that you hold private companies: show up or get a subpoena.

It’s time we do the job that the American people sent us here to do—holding the government accountable—instead of holding hearings like this to score political points against private companies.

As I close, Madam Chairwoman, will you commit to holding one hearing before the end of the year with a cabinet secretary?

Thank you, Madam Chairwoman, and I yield back.