Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris Now on Senate Judiciary Committee; Bad News for Second Amendment

The former California attorney general has a long history of hostility to Second Amendment rights.


Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) was named to the Senate Judiciary Committee today. What might that mean moving forward for the Senate's attitude toward potential legislation effecting the Second Amendment? Nothing great.

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Gun rights advocates often raise the specter of armed state agents going door to door to confiscate firearms. Kamala Harris helped make that worst-case-scenario a reality in California. Her attorney general's office presided over California's Armed Prohibited Persons System, which spent at least $24 million sending police to citizens' homes to take away weapons.

The target of this "common sense gun control" measure: people who had once been legal gun owners, but had since lost their right to own a firearm due an ever-expanding definition of unfitness, which includes having committed certain crimes, falling under a restraining order, or being adjudicated mentally ill. (The state's databases of these failings are known to be highly unreliable.)

In April 2017, California was forced to return 500 weapons it had illegally confiscated from one citizen in 2015 under Harris' aggressive implementation of that program. Despite the fact that she never demonstrated any concrete threat from the over 18,000 citizens who received visits from her agents and had property taken from them, Harris proudly announced that "removing firearms from dangerous and violent individuals makes our communities safer."

As attorney general, Harris tried to ensure that people couldn't get carry permits for weapons in California merely for reasons as petty, to her mind, as that they felt they needed one. She has fought in court to ensure that only police officials should be able to decide whether a citizen can defend himself outside his home. She got sued in 2016 in her former capacity as California attorney general for her office's policies toward open public carrying of weapons.

Her general attitude about gun possession and gun law—despite the fact that she is a senator of a state where gun ownership continues to climb even as violent crime has dropped faster than the national average—is that gun policy should be dictated by how comfortable you feel after looking at autopsy photos of the children murdered at Sandy Hook elementary school. Literally. Speaking in October 2015 at "Politicon" in Los Angeles she advised that before any vote related to gun control or gun rights "They should have closed the chambers of Congress, on the House and the Senate side, and said all you members go in there, only you, and spread out the autopsy photos of those babies and require them to look at those photographs. And then vote your conscience."

Harris is so uncomfortable with the Second Amendment she's willing to jab at the First Amendment while hobbling it, as shown by her support as California's attorney general for a state law restricting how handgun sellers can advertise. She so delights in pettily bedeviling gun owners that her department in California tried to enforce restrictions on how many guns could be purchased per month by those who hold certain special collectors' licenses even though both the letter of the law and previous practice said they were exempt, and stuck to her lack of principle on the issue until she got sued over it in 2014.

In rhetoric and action, Harris is especially proud of her role as someone out to keep more guns out of more people's hands for any reason, legal or not, constitutional or not. It's a bit disheartening to see on the Senate Judiciary Committee someone with a specific, lengthy, and proud record of literally taking legally purchased guns from Americans via armed agents going door to door.