The White House responded to the petition to deport Piers Morgan in a statement defending freedom of speech on Wednesday.
Morgan has been an outspoken critic of the country's gun policies in the wake of the Newtown shooting. Gun advocates launched a petition on the White House website, which called for the British host to be deported. The petition surpassed the threshold necessary for the White House to respond — 25,000 signatures — in December.
The White House released its comment in a piece entitled, "When Discussing the Second Amendment, Keep the First in Mind Too." "Let’s not let arguments over the Constitution’s Second Amendment violate the spirit of its First," White House press secretary Jay Carney wrote.
He continued, "Americans may disagree on matters of public policy and express those disagreements vigorously, but no one should be punished by the government simply because he or she expressed a view on the Second Amendment -- or any other matter of public concern."
Read the full response on the White House website.