Jeff Thompson joins Senators Vitter, Cruz to discuss protecting gun rights
The political battle for second amendment rights is far from over, according to U.S. Senator David Vitter, R-La.
Ways to protect and defend those rights was the center of discussion for Vitter, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and State Representative Jeff Thompson, R-Bossier City, during a live telephone town hall meeting Wednesday night.
The hour-long conference call, hosted by the Defend Louisiana campaign, provided an open forum for approximately 10,000 callers to ask questions regarding the local and national fight to protect second amendment rights as well as an opportunity to hear updates on legislative efforts over the last year and what’s to come in the future.
Vitter said he is completely supportive of Second Amendment rights and is very involved in defending them at the Senate level. The right to bear arms, Vitter said, is something he considers to be a “God given right.”
“The Second Amendment is a fundamental constitutional right. It’s an individual right to keep and bear arms,” Vitter said. “It is in the original Bill of Rights not because the [nation’s] founders were concerned about crime or self defense, but because, fundamentally, the second amendment right is about freedom and liberty.”
Sen. Cruz said Louisiana and Texas “see eye-to-eye” when it comes to gun rights and praised Louisiana delegates for their effort to protect them. He also stressed the importance of not only the national fight, but the state and local efforts as well.
“Texas has a lot in common with Louisiana, one of those being that we cherish our constitutional rights, especially our Second Amendment rights,” Cruz said. “The condition in Washington is incredibly perilous. The Obama administration, in my opinion, is extraordinarily hostile and the most anti-gun administration we’ve ever seen in Washington.”
Vitter encouraged gun rights activists to stay vigilant and involved in the fight for second amendment rights over the coming weeks, months and years.
“Don’t think that we have weathered this latest assault and it’s over,” he said. “This issue isn’t going away. Keep speaking up. Keep defending our Second Amendment rights. Let them know that we will not give up one inch of our liberty. That’s certainly what I’m going to do with my position in the senate.”
Thompson, founder of the Defend Louisiana campaign, said “just under 10,000” callers participated in the call. In a legislative update, Thompson said the most important accomplishment of the year was finding a way to protect the personal information of concealed carry permit holders.
“In the wake of tragedies across the nation, there were some knee jerk reactions to publicize that information. We are now able, because of the last [legislative] session, to say that anyone who abuses that information or publicizes it will face civil and criminal penalties,” Thomspon said.
The Louisiana legislation also approved a bill that will allow gun owners to apply for lifetime concealed-carry permits as well as a bill that allows off-duty law enforcement officers to be in possession of weapons previously prohibited to them in firearm-free zones, while on school-property, school related events, or in a firearm-free zone. Thompson said the 2014 legislative session will “pick up where we left off” and look into passing a bill that would allow concealed-carry permit holders are able to go into restaurants, continue to push for economic development in Louisiana for gun manufacturers and pushing school safety to the forefront.
Defend Louisiana is a statewide campaign dedicated to giving Louisianians a voice in the defense of their right to protect their families.
For more information, visit www.defendla.org or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/DefendLA.