I sent the following survey to Mr. Dennis Bynum and to Rep. Ryan Williams. I never got a response from Mr. Williams. Based on Mr. Bynum's response, I voted for him today. You can see what I wrote about Mr. Williams in a separate post.
Wed, May 27, 7:16 PM
1. Do you believe that the Constitution is the "supreme law of the land" and that the Bill of Rights acknowledges our birthrights?
We learned the Constitution and the associated Bill of Rights is the supreme law of the land when we were children and I still believe that today. It may be changed – using Article 5 is federal– but it should NOT be interpreted away. A constitutional amendment would be the only way to take it away.
2. If so, should these rights be proactively protected from infringement by all levels of government, including city, county and state?
All levels of governmental servants swear an oath to uphold the US Constitution as well as the constitution of their state (if they are at state level or below). Yes, all levels should guard against infringement on our rights.
3. Please give some examples of gun laws you consider constitutional.
The National Firearms Act of 1934 is a long-standing law that has yet to be changed or overturned in court. It is legally ‘constitutional’ unless it is ruled unconstitutional. When I reflect on the 2nd Amendment, it seems this law is unconstitutional based on infringement on the second amendment.
4. Please give some examples of gun laws you consider unconstitutional.
The (so called) Assault Weapons Ban of 1994. Semi-automatic weapons are in ‘common use’ (see the Heller decision of 2008). Does it matter if the semi-automatic weapon is a handgun or a long gun? I say no. The action is the same, pull the trigger once and one round is spent. Handguns are used far more often in crime and semi-automatic long guns. It makes no sense because one looks ‘scary’.
5. Does the right to bear arms include the right for any peaceable citizen to carry them concealed without a permit, as in Vermont?
Yes, and I support Constitutional Carry in TN and the US.
6. Do you believe that Americans have a right to own, use and carry weapons of military pattern, and will you use the prestige of elected office to publicly promote that right?
Yes. Looks to not change the action of a weapon. An AR-15 may look like an M-16 but it does not perform like one. One can use a kit and make a 1986 Pontiac Fiero look like a Ferrari F30, but that doesn’t make it one. Are you asking for looking similar or in actual use?
7. Do you support or oppose registration of weapons? Why?
Oppose. Registration makes confiscation easily achievable.
8. Do you support or oppose licensing requirements to own or carry firearms?
One should not have to have a license to carry a firearm. Americans have a God given right to protect themselves. Once a government requires a permit, the right becomes a privilege.
9. What specific gun laws will you work to get repealed?
At the state (and national) level I support constitutional carry and would work to that end. There may be laws that need repealing, but I do not know all the state laws regarding firearms. Laws have a way of multiplying over time (layering) and many times laws are dormant until somebody stumbles upon one. This is an area where I will depend on constituent groups like you to bring these to my attention. Example; there could be laws of many years past regarding where you parked your mule, so I’m sure there are old laws regarding gun laws as well.
10. If elected, will you back your words of support for firearms rights up with consistent actions?
This is the most difficult question on your questionnaire. If elected, I will be one of 99 members of the Tennessee House. Fortunately, the Republicans have a super-majority and most support our constitutional rights to keep and bear arms. Unfortunately, not all republicans are constitutional conservatives. I can’t – won’t – promise something on which I cannot deliver. I can only hold true to the Constitutions of the United States and Tennessee. That, I can promise. I’m not a lawmaker, I’m a business man, I look at what makes sense for you and I, I will defend to the best of my ability to uphold our state and federal constitution.