Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has sent a message to top-ranking Democrats: Scare tactics should not be used to advance legislation that compromises the Constitution.
On May 25, the freshman Congressman confronted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on the chamber floor after the Democrat accused Paul of threatening national security by delaying a vote on an extension of the Patriot Act. Paul, a Tea Party favorite, is attempting to tack on an amendment that protects the privacy of gun owners.
The Patriot Act, which is a series of anti-terrorism surveillance laws enacted after Sept. 11, 2001, is set to expire on May 27. Reid claimed that Paul’s efforts to add amendments may cause a brief lapse of the security policies, which would “be giving terrorists the opportunity to plot attacks against our country,” quoted by CNN.
Paul took exception to Reid’s statement, racing to the chamber’s floor to defend his actions. He said he was insulted by Reid’s claim that a defense of the Constitution was an open invitation to terrorist attacks.
Nonprofit group Gun Owners of America has praised Paul for standing up to Reid and fighting for the pro-gun amendment. The organization said that if Paul’s amendment is not accepted, the government would have warrantless access to a list of every gun buyer in the country.