Sen. Mike Johanns opposes a gun control measure moving forward in the United States Senate and predicts it would fail to prevent mass violence if it becomes law.
A procedural vote clears the legislation for debate, which Johanns expects will cover the next couple of weeks as the Senate faces various amendments.
“I expect we’ll be on this bill probably the next couple of weeks. I doubt that they’ll get it done in a week,” Johanns tells Kevin Thomas, host of Drive Time Lincoln on Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN. “I do think there will be a fairly open amendment process where amendments can be offered. I personally think the bill has constitutional problems. I do believe it violates the Second Amendment.”
Johanns sees lengthy debate ahead. Johanns also sees problems ahead.
“This is a Second Amendment constitutional right. People have a right to bear arms here, to own a firearm,” according to Johanns. “My attitude is that this is a sweeping restriction on the Second Amendment.”
The bill would expand background checks on gun purchases. It also would limit what weapons would be available to the public as well as limit the capacity of ammunition clips.
Johanns asserts the measure not only violates the Second Amendment, but will fail to prevent the violence that has rallied people to support it.
“This law could have been fully in effect prior to the events in Connecticut or Colorado or whatever other tragic event you want to, Virginia Tech, whatever one you want to mention and it wouldn’t have stopped anything; nothing,” Johanns says.
President Barack Obama has traveled to Newtown, Connecticut a number of times to lobby for stricter controls on the purchase of weapons and ammunition. Late last year, a gunman entered the Sandy Hook Elementary School and killed 20 1st Grade students and six teachers.
Kevin Thomas, KLIN, contributed to this report.
AUDIO: Sen. Mike Johanns discusses gun legislation with Kevin Thomas on KLIN’s Drive Time Lincoln. [6:15]