Begich Objects to Democratic Chairman, Protects 2nd Amendment Rights

Fights back in contentious hearing, passes key amendment with support of NRA and committee Democrats

U.S. Senator Mark Begich today fought back against the Democratic chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee in a successful effort to protect Alaskans’ Second Amendment rights.

Today’s hearing on postal reform heated up when Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) tried to block an amendment offered by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) related to the right to carry guns in post offices. As Chairman Carper tried to move past the topic, Senator Begich quickly objected and pointed not only to the need to clearly protect Alaskans’ Second Amendment rights, but also to find the common ground necessary to move forward on the full postal reform bill – which also includes many other improvements and protections for Alaska.

Shortly after, Begich introduced his own amendment which protects the right to have guns in parking lots of post offices.

“I have heard from many Alaskans on this issue and that is why I made sure my common sense solution to protect Second Amendment rights and recognize our state’s unique needs was not overlooked in today’s hearing,” said Sen. Begich. “For example, just today my duck stamp bill cleared the Environmental and Public Works Committee. My amendment will allow an Alaskan who is on the way to a duck hunt but realizes they forgot their duck stamp, to go the post office with their shotgun in their vehicle, pick up a duck stamp and be on their way.”

In an unprecedented move, Begich’s amendment passed unanimously – notably with the support of both Sens. Paul and Chairman Carper – and  was also supported by the NRA. The Begich amendment was included in the overall postal reform bill that cleared the Homeland Security Committee today and now moves on to be considered by the full Senate.  Sen. Paul’s amendment ultimately failed in committee.