Walter Jones

Tuesday, August 1st, 2000

U. S. Representative Walter B. Jones of North Carolina is the designated recipient of the CCRKBA Gun Rights Defender of the Month Award for August.

In nominating the federal lawmaker for the Award, John Michael Snyder, CCRKBA Public Affairs Director, said, “I have known Congressman Jones since he came to the United States House of Representatives over five years ago. He has been a reliable supporter in Congress of the individual Second Amendment civil right of law-abiding American citizens to keep and bear arms. He most certainly is deserving of this distinction.”

In the ongoing attempts by the Clinton-Gore Administration to promote legislation regarding gun shows, gun locks, gun magazines, gun dealers, gun tracing, gun licenses, gun prosecutions, gun safety courses, guns in schools and guns in public housing, the Cox News Service recently featured an interview with Congressman Jones regarding the controversy, noting that he for one did not see any “common sense” in the Clinton-Gore Administration proposals.

“People in my district have great respect for the Bible and the Constitution,” Jones told the Service. “They have the belief that if they are law-abiding citizens they have the right to purchase a gun and hunt.”

Jones said he does not think he could support the Clinton-Gore Administration’s proposal to require background checks at gun shows or to require safety locks on handguns.

“I hate to say it,” he said, “but I have to be leery of any proposal from this Administration. I think too many times these proposals are made for political gain.”

Jones also said that his constituents are very worried about gun control and believe the proposals punish honest citizens.

He said he has attended several gun shows in Greenville, North Carolina and in Jacksonville, North Carolina. People there are collectors, not criminals, he said.

In a statement prepared especially for POINT BLANK, Congressman Jones declared “I have always been an ardent supporter of our Second Amendment’s right to bear arms. The citizens of Eastern North Carolina, like those across the country, have a great respect for the Constitution. With the recent tragedies, it is easy to place the blame on guns and their accessibility, rather than on the person who committed the crime. Although I do believe that gun owners must be responsible for the use and care of their guns, I do not want to see law-abiding gun owners penalized for the actions of reckless criminals.

“Let me assure you that I will continue to fight for the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”

Congressman Jones is a co-sponsor of the proposed Citizens’ Self-Defense Act, H.R. 347, by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland, which has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

This measure, if enacted into law, would protect the right to obtain firearms for security, and to use firearms in defense of self, family or home, and to provide for the enforcement of such right.

The Jones co-sponsored measure includes a list of findings, noting, for instance, that police cannot protect, and are not legally liable for failing to protect, individual citizens.

It states that the courts have ruled consistently that the police do not have an obligation to protect individuals, only the public in general. In Warren v. District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department, 444 A.2d I (D.C. App. 1981), for instance, the court stated: “Courts have without exception concluded that when a municipality or other governmental entity undertakes to furnish police services, it assumes a duty only to the public at large and not to individual members of the community.”

The measure states that citizens frequently must use firearms to defend themselves, noting, for instance, that every year more than 2,400,000 people in the United States use a gun to defend themselves against criminals, or more than 6,500 people a day. This means that, each year, firearms are used 60 times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to take lives.

It notes also that, of the 2,400,000 times citizens use their guns to defend themselves every year, 92 percent merely brandish their gun or fire a warning shot to scare off his or her attacker.

The bill would provide that a person who is not prohibited by federal law, Section 922(g) of title 18, United States Code, shall have the right to obtain firearms, meaning rifles, shotguns and handguns, for security, and to use firearms in defense of self or family against a reasonably perceived threat of imminent and unlawful infliction of serious bodily injury, in defense of family in the course of commission by another person of a violent felony against the person or a member of the person’s family, and in defense of the person’s home in the course of the commission of a felony by another person.

Congressman Jones also is a co-sponsor of H.R. 1032, by Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia, to prohibit civil liability actions from being brought or continued against manufacturers, distributors, dealers or importers of firearms for damages resulting from the misuse of their products by others.

Now in his third term, Jones serves as a member of the Committees of Armed Services, Resources and Banking and Financial Services. He is Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Military Readiness.