Mr. VISCLOSKY. I would take a different tact on the issue of common sense and security. I would like to talk about the security of our Nation and about our economic infrastructure and about these Corps regions.
I understand that the intent of the gentleman's amendment is to prohibit the Corps from preventing individuals from having handguns on projects administered by the Corps. I understand it's aimed at those who obviously support the Second Amendment. I do, myself. The fact is, I believe the gentleman's amendment is injurious to our national security. I do not think it is a good idea to allow individuals to walk around with guns over dams and water treatment plants that are administered by the Army
Corps of Engineers.
Now, I assume that some of my colleagues disagree with me. However, this amendment also prohibits the Corps from implementing or enforcing rules on explosives and fireworks and other weapons. I don't believe there are [Page: H5054]
other Members in this body who believe the Corps should not be able to stringently enforce rules on explosives at dams and water projects and treatment facilities that they have jurisdiction over. Further, what if there's danger of fire
on the Corps land? Unless there is some other law that supersedes the regulations that your amendment is aimed at, Corps employees would not be able to prevent people from launching fireworks, despite the dangers of wildfires.
I strongly oppose the gentleman's amendment and would hope that he would consider withdrawing his overly broad and misguided amendments.
I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. GIBBS. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of the Gosar-Gibbs-Altmire amendment, to prohibit funding the Secretary of the Army to enforce a regulation that prohibits firearm possession in compliance with State law on Corps projects and lands.
Earlier this year, Representative Altmire from Pennsylvania, Representative Gosar from Arizona, and myself introduced H.R. 1865, a stand-alone bill that would prohibit the Secretary of the Army from enforcing any regulation that keeps an individual from possessing firearms on Army Corps of Engineer water or resource development projects.
Gun owners need to be able to exercise their Second Amendment rights when they are legally camping, hunting, and fishing on Army Corps property. Last Congress, this House passed national parks language that became law to allow for guns on national parks land; and the Army Corps of Engineers immediately issued the following release: ``Public Law 111-024 does not apply to Corps projects or facilities. The passage of this new law does not affect application of title 36 regulations.'' This policy
preempts State regulatory framework from transporting and carrying firearms, thus invalidating concealed weapon permits and other State laws that allow law-abiding citizens to transport and carry firearms.
This amendment is a bipartisan effort that would put a temporary fix to end the patchwork of regulations that govern different lands managed by different Federal agencies.
I urge all Members to support the Gosar-Gibbs-Altmire amendment.
Mr. ALTMIRE. I thank the gentleman from Indiana.
I rise in support of the Gosar-Gibbs-Altmire amendment to protect the Second Amendment rights of our Nation's sportsmen.
The Army Corps of Engineers owns or manages more than 11 million acres of Federal lands, where Americans are not allowed to carry firearms for self-defense, including 90,000 camp sites and thousands of miles of trails where law enforcement is scattered.
Our amendment will simplify regulations for law-abiding citizens by defunding a Federal regulation that bans firearms for self-defense on Army Corps lands. This will not change rules against bringing firearms into Federal buildings, such as Army Corps headquarters, or locks and dams. It will simply guarantee that sportsmen are able to defend themselves while they legally hunt and fish on property that the Army Corps owns and operates.
To correct this problem in the long term, Mr. Gibbs and I have also introduced the Recreational Lands Self-Defense Act. But this amendment is a necessary first step and is supported by the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America.
I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes.''
Mr. GOSAR. Mr. Chairman, the Second Amendment is a key component of national security. And in that aspect, it allows citizens to carry. This is about possession of sidearms only. It does not apply to explosives in or around structures.
I will finish up by saying that I wish everybody would support this amendment, and I look forward to its passage.
I yield back the balance of my time.
Mr. VISCLOSKY. Mr. Chairman, in closing, I will reiterate my strong opposition to the gentleman's amendment.
We are talking about allowing people with weapons in areas where we have dams and water treatment plants, and the Army Corps of Engineers ought to be able to exercise control over those for the protection of those major economic infrastructures. I would respectfully disagree with the gentleman, that he would also reduce their ability as far as the regulation of people with explosives. And I think that, again, is very detrimental relative to our national security. For these reasons, I strongly
oppose the gentleman's amendment.
I yield back the balance of my time.
The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Arizona (Mr. Gosar).
The amendment was agreed to.
AMENDMENT OFFERED BY MR.