Pelosi: Congress Must Uphold Oath to ‘Protect and Defend’ Constitution... by Passing Gun Control

Ryan Kierman | July 22, 2013 | 4:01pm EDT
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A copy of the Constitution printed on Ben Franklin's press. (AP photo)

( – Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D – Calif.) cited her oath to “protect and defend” the U.S. Constitution as the reason Congress should enact harsher gun control measures.

In a press release marking the one-year anniversary of the Aurora, Colorado shootings, the former Speaker of the House said: “In Congress, there can be no more fitting memorial to the lives lost in Aurora, in Newtown, and across the country than a concerted effort to enact commonsense gun safety legislation.

"We must uphold our oath to ‘protect and defend’ the constitution and all Americans by expanding background checks and keeping dangerous firearms out of the wrong hands.”

“We must restore confidence in the safety of our homes, schools, movie theaters, and neighborhoods by taking clear, concrete steps to prevent gun violence,” Pelosi added.

Inquiries made by to Pelosi’s press office about how expanding gun control squares with members’ duty to uphold the Constitution were not returned.

“Nancy Pelosi’s comments last week were breathtaking,” said Erich Pratt, director of communications for Gun Owners of America, in an interview with “She actually stated that she wants to uphold the Constitution by enacting additional background checks on gun purchases.

“I wonder which country’s constitution she is referring to, because ours clearly makes no allowances for gun control,” Pratt remarked, pointing out that the Second Amendment that Rep. Pelosi swore to "support and defend" was actually intended to be a guarantee against government attempts at unduly restricting gun ownership, not an excuse for it.

“If Pelosi really wants to apply the lessons from Aurora, Colorado in order to save lives,” Pratt said, “she will work to repeal gun laws that discourage good people from carrying firearms.”

The phrase “to protect and defend the Constitution” that Pelosi cited as the reason Congress must enact stricter gun control laws is not found in the oath that members of Congress take, but in the Presidential Oath of Office instead.

The oath that Rep. Pelosi took when she was sworn into office at the beginning of the 113th Congress reads: “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. [So help me God.]”


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