Memo to Jeff Sessions

February 22, 2018 |

President Trump has signed a memo instructing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to propose regulations banning bump stock devices that convert legal semi-automatic rifles into fast-firing automatic rifles. There are also proposals afloat to ban “assault weapons” or raise the legal age to buy semi-automatic rifles to 21, since the Florida school shooter was 19 and bought his weapon legally.

Considering the widespread demonization of the NRA and Second Amendment advocates, you might be surprised at how little opposition to the bump stock ban you’re hearing. That’s because most responsible gun owners don’t buy such devices, and they understand that the ban will be just as useless as all the other proposals currently being stampeded through legislatures with such urgency.

Anyone who is planning a mass shooting probably knows enough about guns to easily rig one without a store-bought bump stock. As for banning “assault weapons,” that’s a vague term for various traits that don’t make a gun any more lethal, and a ban was already tried on a national level and abandoned after it was shown to have virtually no impact on gun crime. Bottom line: criminals don’t obey laws, and most guns they use are obtained illegally anyway.


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The hard, ugly truth is that schools are “soft targets” for anyone sick and evil enough to want to kill a lot of people. Declaring schools “gun-free zones” just makes them enticing targets. More anti-gun laws that fall only on the law-abiding make it easier still for those with evil intentions. There is a reason for that common headline that so baffles liberal reporters: “Crime falls even as legal gun ownership rises.”

Let me be very clear: those of us who question the emotional appeals for more gun control laws in the wake of a terrible tragedy don’t love guns more than kids. If you have any proposals for new laws that will actually stop these evil acts, then I want to hear them (making the FBI actually do its job and follow up on tips might be a start). But don’t undermine law-abiding citizens’ Constitutional rights with burdensome and impossible-to-enforce new laws that give people a false sense of security but do nothing to make our children safer. Or worse, impose wrong-headed feel-good laws in the heat of the moment that only make our kids even less safe in the long run.

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Comments 1-36 of 36

  • Bill W. Smith

    03/14/2018 10:05 AM

    Ever since this nation has turned away from God, removing the Ten Commandments for one example from the schools and accepting perverse behavior as social norms, (Reference Romans chapter one.) this nation has been turned over to a reprobate mind. The acceptance of abortion as just another means of birth control is another tragic example of how far down this nation has slid.

  • Ruth Ford

    03/12/2018 05:37 AM

    I am a great grandma. My "Greats" are starting school. With tv, video games & the like showing the glory of killing, times have certainly changed from a gun in the back window of every truck in the school parking area.
    Now to protect my "Greats" I would feel so much better if all school personnel - principal to janitor and all teachers that are comfortable with carrying and are given extra traing by the sheriff's dept. be encouraged to cc. Our kids and teachers need a fighting chance - not to be soft targets to be mowed down at the whim of a deranged mind.
    I do no agree with the soft approach to dealing with students that threaten others, cause fear, and clearly have mental issues.

    I do not agree of moving the age for purchasing a long rifle to 21. My grandsons all had one at 18 and were well prepared to protect the family. The are responsible, intelligent ADULTS. As long as they can defend our nation at 18, they can so be prepared to defend their families.

  • Penny Foster

    03/10/2018 09:46 AM

    Governor Huckabee, Thank you for your common sense, humorous & true commentary on the news of the day! You are a true patriot sir! Your daughter is as quick on her feet as her dad, & she is a true asset to Pres. Trump’s administration

  • Phil Stocks

    03/01/2018 10:04 PM

    The "powers that be" are talking about and seriously recommending that the age to purchase long guns and all ammunition be raised from 18 to 21 years old.
    Let's look for a moment at the Militia Act of 1792.
    All able bodied males from the age of 18 to 45 were conscripted into the Militia.
    Not only were they conscripted, but they were to provide a musket and powder, flint and ball for 20 shots.
    They were also directed to provide a belt , powder horn, and a bayonet.
    They were given 6 months to comply.
    Our Constitution (arguably the most brilliant governmental document ever written) went into effect in 1789.
    Most of the men who wrote the Constitution also wrote the Militia Act of 1792.
    Brilliant men who knew 18 year olds should serve this new nation and be willing give up their lives in it's defense. What is the minimum age to serve in the US military today?
    The minimum age for enlistment in the United States military is 17 (with parental consent) and 18 (without parental consent).
    These young men and now women are expected to be willing to give up their lives in the defense of our nation, just as it was in 1792.
    This has not changed in 226 years!!!
    "POWERS THAT BE": You mean to tell me you can expect the young 18 year olds to die for our nation and not be able to purchase a long gun or any ammunition for any reason.
    The age to purchase handguns has been raised to 21 and that was wrong.
    I seriously do not believe you would find one founding father who would not concur.
    Just because our governmental agencies totally dropped the ball on one mentally deranged individual.
    Taking rights away from law abiding citizens and not enforcing all current laws will never make anyone safe.
    The 2nd amendment was written to maintain our citizen's God given right of self protection.
    It has nothing to do with hunting or sport shooting.
    18 year olds have that same right of self protection.
    The tragic Florida valentines day debacle shows the government can not be depended upon to protect us even when they are on the seen.
    DO NOT TAKE AWAY OUR LAW ABIDING CITIZEN'S GOD GIVEN RIGHTS.....!!!!!!!

  • Omer Causey

    02/28/2018 12:03 PM

    At least 46 states have laws on the books allowing for involuntary emergency commitment for psychiatric evaluation on petition by one or more individuals, including law enforcement, mental healt professionals and family. Instead of the slogan being "See something, say something", it should be "See something, do something." Pick up the phone. Clerk of Court can generally direct you to the right agency.

  • Gladys Kelly

    02/28/2018 09:20 AM

    Well said. I grew up on a ranch with a dad who kept a rifle in his truck. Many people in ranching and farming communities grew up the same way. Not one of us ever took a gun to school or threatened another person with our parents' gun or our gun. I realize times have changed, I don't know why the change has happened. Where I grew up people were church going and moral citizens. They understood the value of life, because we were taught the value of life. It has become a scary world and now I think our children need to be taught how to defend themselves, where I never felt that way before. My grandson once told me he was afraid to attend school, because of school shootings & asked if I ever had to fear that. I wanted to cry, as I only feared my parents being informed of having to go to the principal's office. We need to keep our gun rights and get some protection for our children in schools.

  • Lynn Broesch

    02/28/2018 07:51 AM

    I think a dog with an armed handler ( maybe a former military person who had this job when deployed) in every school at the ONLY door that can be entered by an outsider would be a great deterrent! Even signs at homes that say BEWARE OF DANGEROUS DOG will make a breakin less likely to occur! Worth a try! And most kids would love seeing a dog as their protector so not scary either!!

  • Barry Spinka

    02/27/2018 12:29 PM

    Let's be clear, those behind the "ban guns" don't care about just banning guns they want to prevent you and us from protecting ourselves against their take over of our country! They are Socialists/Communists who are hell-bent in destroying our way of life; period!

  • John Parker

    02/26/2018 09:18 PM

    Mike, thanks for making it VERY clear that you don't love guns more than children. That's VERY comforting. Jesus would say the same thing except He'd be VERY clear that He doesn't love swords more than children. You are so Christ like, Mike. Again, glad you love children more than guns. I was a little worried.

  • Jim Standifer

    02/25/2018 10:11 PM

    Love you and the work you do! Thanks! Please keep it up! America needs you!

  • Doris Wix

    02/25/2018 04:51 PM

    Whole heartedly agree.
    Though many aren't heeding if you don't say what they want to hear, please keep telling it like it really is.

  • Charles Matthews

    02/25/2018 03:57 PM

    The majority of my military career was dedicated to serving in various security roles. Since my specialties were physical security and anti-terrorism, I spent a lot of time conducting site surveys of potential targets to identify weaknesses and make recommendations to strengthen these facilities.

    Our schools are weak targets. It's far too easy for anybody to walk onto school property and gain access to classrooms in minimum time. Conversely, our airports are just the opposite, i.e. you can't just arrive at a properly secured airport and decide you will enter from any vantage point you want. Any solution to bolster school security is going to cost a considerable amount of money. A good start would be investments in physical security aids like fences, doors, locks, alarms, and even metal detectors. These steps would go a long way toward preventing illegal entry, especially by those carrying firearms. Along with these measures would be security training for teachers, school administrators, and even students. When these steps are taken, "soft" targets become much more impenetrable. Gun control, arming teachers, and blaming the NRA are not viable solutions.

  • Thomas R Beckwith

    02/24/2018 01:44 PM

    I don't understand the FBI comment that there was not enough evidence to arrest the shooter... whatever happened to just good old surveillance? Wasn't there sufficient probable cause to get a warrant and put him on a watch list to monitor his actions, his social media, his phone, his whereabouts, his possession of firearms? And by all means share the information with the local police.

  • Doug Kennedy

    02/23/2018 10:21 PM

    Gov Huckabee,
    I have thought and thought about this situation since it happened. I'm afraid that it's going to be " the price of progress is problems"
    1 we have to find away to protect our kids.
    2 we need to make them feel safe
    3 I agree with the bump stocks banned
    4 I think we need to raise the age to 21 for all gun purchases.
    5 They need trained like kids are trained in driver education.

    These suggestions may not be the total answer,but they are a start.

  • Dwight Stimeling

    02/23/2018 10:46 AM

    Finally someone saying impossibile to enforce new laws ,how many ar`s or ar types are owned by law abiding citizens.

  • Charles M

    02/22/2018 11:50 PM

    The liberal/progressive lefties only want to control the citizens - if they cared so much about "precious life", why does Planned Parenthood murder a baby every 90 seconds 24/7 for "convenience" and sell the body parts for "Science"? Sick

  • Leona M. Lucas

    02/22/2018 10:05 PM

    Why is no one talking about more security for schools? Lock the doors to keep shooters out. Also there should be responsible adults who are armed to stop them if they somehow get in. Much less loss of life.

  • Mike Spears

    02/22/2018 07:58 PM

    Gov Huckabee: The .30 Caliber M1 Carbine from WWII has been in civilian hands in the millions since the early 1960s (if not earlier). It, too is semi-automatic and has a 30-Round magazine. It can be every bit as lethal as the AR-15 (as can many guns). The State of New Jersey now bans it as it does meet the weak 1994 definition of an "assault rifle." The question is, why weren't there mass shootings in the 1960s,1970s, 1980s and even early 1990s with this military weapon? For all practical purposes, millions of "assault-style rifles with large capacity magazines" have been in civilian hands, since forever. What has changed in society to bring on these numerous mass shootings? The guns that many support banning have always been out there. They haven't changed. Let's fix what has changed in society to allow these mass shootings. Let's not infringe upon the 2nd Amendment Rights of law-abiding citizens.

  • Brad Prothero

    02/22/2018 06:41 PM

    What about making AR-15s have the same regulations as handguns? Manditory gun safety course and waiting period for all guns?

  • Dean Shamblin

    02/22/2018 04:49 PM

    Now you're talking my language @Mike Huckabee! Good old-fashioned common sense!
    A lot of politicians could use a spoonful of it!

  • Robert McFate

    02/22/2018 04:43 PM

    Nailed it!

  • Sherry Garcia

    02/22/2018 04:32 PM

    Your commentary is always spot on. You and your daughter- awesome!

  • Bruce Deming

    02/22/2018 04:23 PM

    So the FBI drops the ball and liberals blame it on legal gun owners. As Obama said, never let a tragedy go to waste. Criminals don't follow gun laws, period, and liberal politicians are fully aware of that fact. Their intention isn't to make it safe for students, but to keep chipping away at our rights until gun ownership is impossible. The intention of the liberal politician is to disarm everyone. Someone needs to wake up Republicans who want to ban bump stocks, they don't understand the can of worms they are opening. Bump stocks are commercially made for many rifles, but any gun shop could make one for just about any rifle in very short order. Regulating them wouldn't be cost effective, blocking them would make 3D print files readily available online, making them producible, and available just about everywhere.

  • Robert Horn

    02/22/2018 03:38 PM

    What has changed? Guns have been around a long time. Why now? Progressive ideas devastated the family. Dads are not important. Live has little value (abortion). Children must not be taught respect, obedience, work ethic or a moral code. Treat problem children with drugs that have anger and suicide listed as side effects. Guns disappear and killing will continue using other means.

  • Firewagon

    02/22/2018 03:31 PM

    MEMO to Congress and Senate, "sit on the bills," Majority Leader McConnell: Do something constructive! Vote on, and PASS, that needed "Reciprocity Bill." I can "drive" in every State in the Union, without the benefit of a Constitutional Right; however, I am not "legally" allowed to carry my "legal" firearm across State borders albeit having a "Right" that is NOT to be "infringed." Even in those States that extend "reciprocity" to CCW license holders, I am still required to be FULLY aware of those State's gun laws in order NOT to violate any - I picture a very large binder filled with various State gun law regulations filling at least one seat in my vehicle - God forbid I should miss complying with one, during some cross country jaunt!! The other item, though demagogued as opening the gates to "soundless" killing, is the SHUSH act, or Suppressor legitimizing as just another accessory act to save what little hearing I have left, a.k.a. stop annoying my neighbors act. Those "suppressors," NOT "silencers," are expensive enough, without having to pay the government some $200 tax, and waiting a year for the ATF to process the paperwork!

  • Deborah

    02/22/2018 03:26 PM

    I am a patriotic American and vetetan of the US Army. I currently live/work in Canada and will retire back home this year.

    To buy a semi-automatic rifle in Canada you must have a purchase permit that includes a 2 day safety class, a psychiatrist's report of approval, the gun is adapted so it holds the maximum of 3 bullets and the RCMP need to approve the gun safe where it will be stored. These are at the expense of the purchaser. I think there is a 30 day wait.

    It must be shot on an approved range. Before leaving home with the gun to the range, the RCMP must be notified this wrapon is moving. When returning from the range the RCMP must be notified. No stops going to or from the range. If a shooter disobeys the rules, all his guns and permits are confiscated permanently.

    It is a strong deterrant to mass murders. I'm not suggesting the legislation looks the same in both countries, but tossing out ideas to help protect my ten grandchildren.

  • Logan Racster

    02/22/2018 03:07 PM

    So long as the bump stock ban is very specific and not loosely worded. I fear if to vague others may be able to interpret things such as match triggers that help for precision shooting or muzzle brakes that allow less recoil to help shoot more accurately. As far as the "assault weapons ban" I'm totally against it. If you punish the law abiding by not allowing them access to the AR15 and other SEMI auto rifles it will only make good citizens an easier target to criminals. Thanks for everything you do Mr. Huckabee!

  • Norma Solvie

    02/22/2018 02:48 PM

    We should have swift justice for any mass shooter. Hanging or firing squad comes to mind first. A trial is a travesty.

  • Norma Solvie

    02/22/2018 02:46 PM

    We should have swift justice for any mass shooter. Hanging or firing squad comes to mind first. A trial is a travesty.

  • Patricia A. McMahon

    02/22/2018 02:39 PM

    The best example for NOT making new feel good gun laws: Chicago has the strictest gun laws AND one of the highest rates for gun involved crimes and murders. More unenforceable laws won't help.
    Get the laws we have enforced! Have the FBI, local Law Enforcement, and record check administrators do their darn jobs!

  • Norma Solvie

    02/22/2018 01:40 PM

    We should have swift justice for any mass shooter. Hanging or firing squad comes to mind first. A trial is a travesty.

  • Margaret Hamm

    02/22/2018 01:38 PM

    I agree that taking guns from the average citizen will not make the problem better. The average citizen is not the ones out shooting others. Criminals will still get guns, just leave more open to not being able to defend themselves. I don't really think the democrats particularly care about anyone being shot. I think their whole idea in taking guns is about controlling the citizens, leaving them unable to defend themselves. Just like communist countries took the guns of citizens. They were able to control them and send them to their death. This along with the dummy down teaching of the kids falls right into line with Hitler and others like him.

  • Reverend Doctor James Burnett

    02/22/2018 12:50 PM

    The practice of creating a "gun-free school zone" is the peak of stupidity. I call such: "Killing Zones", because they are so defenseless and attract mass killers. When the American Colony Jamestown was founded under British King rule, the law was that every men of age 16 or older had to carry a gun at all times. The King was smarter than our Liberals and Progressives are. Reverend Doctor JRB

  • Eveline Garrison

    02/22/2018 12:50 PM

    I have no problem with bump stocks being illegal. I think they skirt the intention of the law against fully auto guns. 'Assault' weapons, that's is ridiculous. They just look different from regular rifles. This 'gun control' mania does not now, nor has it ever addressed the problem. Do away with the violent video games/music/TV shows ect. What happened to teaching your kids basic morality & respect for themselves & others? I was told by a 19 yr. old that violent games ect. had no mental effect on people. Maybe not if you come from a strong moral background, but what if you don't? Do people not know anything about how brain washing works? Meanwhile, do what Israel does to protect their schools. It works.

  • Gary L. Vanderbilt

    02/22/2018 12:11 PM

    Repeal and do away with the Gun Free Zone Law (S.3266) introduced by Joseph R. Biden, signed into law in Nov. 29, 1990. Take down all the signs! Place armed security at school entrances. Enforce the existing background checks, that the NRA came up with years ago. Hold law enforcement agencies responsible (Sheriffs dept. and FBI) in the Florida shooting, for allowing this shooter from falling through the cracks. The Sheriff's office had been contacted 36 times about this young man, the FBI, twice! The Air Force allowed the shooter in the Texas church shooting, to fall through the cracks, by failing to report his violent and incarceration record, in his military service to the proper Federal Dept. This is unacceptable for government agencies to let this happen, then blame the law abiding gun owners and the NRA, for the loss of these children's lives for political gain of the left!

  • Burt Smith

    02/22/2018 10:48 AM

    Mike,a bump stock does NOT convert a semi automatic weapon to an automatic weapon.What is does do is allow a faster rate of fire.To convert an Ar15 to an M16 is indeed possible,but very expensive and HIGHLY ILLEGAL!Which of course only matters to law abiding citizens.