Despite some momentum toward gun control legislation in the wake of the tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn., earlier this month, stricter laws are far from a sure thing. One reason: people like Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.), who argued in June that the federal government shouldn't enact new gun control laws -- it should get rid of all of the existing ones instead.
"When we start down that road again with folks who think that they know best, you never know where it's going to end. The law of unintended consequences is on steroids in Washington, D.C.," Woodall said at a candidate forum on June 25, sent to HuffPost by a Democratic activist in Georgia. "We can begin to protect the Second Amendment by doing away with all federal control of gun laws."
After 20 first graders and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, some politicians quickly called for gun control and began work on legislation to ban the future sale of some assault weapons.
Even some staunch defenders of broad gun rights, such as Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), who has an A rating from the National Rifle Association, said they believe something must be done to limit assault weapons.
Woodall, though, is part of a class of lawmakers who may be tough to convince that putting more restrictions on gun ownership is the right answer. The freshman congressman made news in 2011 when he scolded a constituent for asking about government aid and then said he accepts his government-provided health care "because it's free." Woodall has a C rating from the National Rifle Association on voting in support of gun rights. He voted against a bill to require states to respect out-of-state concealed weapons permits, but only because he said the Second Amendment already confers that right and the bill was unnecessary.
His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment as to whether his thinking on gun control had shifted after the Sandy Hook shooting.
In June, though, he was clear that he opposed even existing federal gun regulations, saying the way to protect the Second Amendment was "doing away with those federal gun laws that are already on the books."
"I don't know when the feds got into the criminalization business, but criminalization happens at the state level, not the federal level," he said at the candidate forum. "Outside of a few national security issues like treason that the Constitution lays out, we don't need federal crimes and we don't need federal prisons. We need state crimes and state prisons."
Watch Woodall's comments from June 25:
Source: Project Vote Smart, Graphic by: Chris Spurlock