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North Dakota: State Reps & the 4 Bills

Charlie T Waite

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Rep. Kevin Cramer - His office is firmly against all 4 bills and is contacting counterparts in the senate
Senator John Hoeven - His office is firmly against all 4 bills


Senator Heitkamp - The office was no committal on her stance and cut the call short so I sent here the following email
Senator Heitkamp,
I called you office today to advise on calls I have received from constituents this past weekend regarding the 4 gun control bills before the senate that the news agencies have been reporting on. They ask that I contact our US Senators to voice their concerns then get back to them later today. I told them I would but also gave them then contact information so they could voice their concerns directly. Most seemed to be alarmed at the fact that these bills remove the "Right To Due Process" which balances the power of law of the land and protects the individual person from it. When a government harms a person without following the exact course of the law, this constitutes a due process violation, which offends the rule of law. Since the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution each contain a Due Process Clause, these laws would also violate these amendments. Further, the Supreme Court of the United States interprets the Clauses as providing four protections: procedural due process (in civil and criminal proceedings), substantive due process, a prohibition against vague laws, and as the vehicle for the incorporation of the Bill of Rights. Because the Due Process Clauses act as a safeguard from arbitrary denial of life, liberty, or property by the Government outside the sanction of law these constituents have voiced their opinion that they are firmly against these bills because they fear that the federal government would have no restraint in removing other rights guaranteed under the Constitution. When I contacted your office @ 202-224-2551 the young lady (Olivia I believe was her name) who answered was very short as if she did not wish to discuss what the call was about after I said it was about the 4 gun control bills. She only wanted my address stating "she would pass it on". My question now becomes; Is the type of response I received on the call what you would like me to relay on your offices behalf to those constituents who contacted me?
I believe these citizens who put us in office deserve more than a boilerplate response from their elected representatives.
Thank you for your time.
M.C. Burnside
City Councilman
Berthold ND



I did receive this boilerplate response:


Thank you for contacting U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp. The Senator values your input and will make sure your inquiry is directed to the appropriate person to respond. Thank you for taking the time to write us.

Office of U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp

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I had a similar non-response from my Senator John McCain's Tucson office when I asked for assistance on behalf of my nephew who was adopting Ugandan children. Took over two (2) weeks before they returned my phone call and then I was basically just blown off. No help. Republican State Senator Kelli Ward who is a strong 2nd Amendment proponent will have my vote during the Arizona Republican Senate primary on August 30.

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I know the bills went down to defeat, but its funny that I have never heard anything back from U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp's office in response to the email I sent other than the canned response. But I have received additional responses from the others.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally received a response, She still didn't address my questions. Below is her response - opinions? Mine is not good. Read the response thoroughly because the funny thing is under her criteria that would include her parties presumptive nominee.


Dear Michael:

Thank you for contacting me regarding domestic terrorism and gun violence. I appreciate hearing from you.

The shooting at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando, Florida, was the worst mass shooting in our nation's recent history - and a massive tragedy that has been felt in every corner of the country. My heart goes out to the victims, their loved ones, and the city of Orlando after this unspeakable act of hatred and terror.

This tragedy has again placed the issue of gun violence and the threat of homegrown terrorism before Congress. During my time in the Senate, I have heard from thousands of North Dakotans on these issues. After a nearly 15-hour filibuster by Senator Murphy (D-CT), Republican leaders agreed to allow votes on several gun control and terrorism-related measures. All four proposals offered had been voted on - and failed to pass - in December 2015. While there were some minor adjustments to each proposal, after carefully reading and evaluating each one, it was apparent the proposals had major problems, including: ambiguities, restrictive clauses, questions of constitutionality, criminalization of ordinary behavior, harmful to ongoing investigations and over-broad authority ceded to individual government agents. This led me to vote against all four proposals - just as I had done after evaluating similar proposals offered last year. These proposals had no real chance of passing the Senate and were little more than political messaging and not real attempts to address the issues at hand.


With the real issue of certain individuals considered too dangerous to fly - or in need of additional screening - able to purchase guns and explosives still unresolved, I feel it is imperative for Congress to act. That is why I worked on and led an effort with Senator Collins (R-ME) and a bipartisan group of senators on compromise legislation, the Terrorist Firearms Prevention Act, to keep guns and explosives from terrorists and protect American families. This bipartisan amendment would prevent people who are on the "No-Fly List" or so-called "selectee" list from legally purchasing guns or explosives from licensed dealers and more effectively enable those who appear on the lists incorrectly to get off them. It would also implement a "five-year look-back" that would immediately alert the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) - as well as other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies - if anyone who is, or was within the last five years, in the broader Terrorist Screening Database attempts to or buys a gun or explosives from a federally licensed dealer. If our government has determined an individual is too dangerous to fly on an airplane, that person should not have an opportunity to make a legal firearm purchase. If the goal is "No-Fly No-Buy," then we accomplished that in our proposal. After a procedural vote - where a bipartisan majority of the Senate supported this compromise - the amendment remains pending but without a clear path forward. Senator Collins and I are continuing discussions with our colleagues to build additional support for this commonsense proposal.

There were other amendments as well that would more directly address what happened in Orlando - including one from Senators Mikulski (D-MD) and Nelson (D-FL) that I cosponsored to provide an additional $190 million for the FBI for counter-terrorism efforts and active shooter training. As the former Attorney General for North Dakota, I understand the importance of ensuring that our law enforcement agencies have the resources and personnel needed to address specific challenges. That is why it is critical that Congress provide our federal law enforcement with the tools they need to combat online radicalization of individuals, whether they have direct ties to a foreign terror organization or they are acting alone as the result of self-radicalization.


When debates around gun violence and domestic terrorism have come up separately during my time in the Senate, I have said that there is no single solution that will address these problems. We must address the severe lack of mental health services, focus on comprehensive community outreach and education, and get individuals help or flag potential issues for law enforcement. I have also previously supported efforts to increase penalties for - and prevent - straw purchases and trafficking; and these are both issues that should and can be fixed in a bipartisan manner.


Balancing these issues against the need to protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners is difficult, but in our system it is necessary. I will continue to look at striking this balance when considering any relevant legislation offered.

Again, thank you for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any additional questions or concerns in the future.


Heidi Heitkamp
United States Senate

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She was obviously a great tap dancer in school!!

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