LDS President Nelson And Firearm Laws

Quick blurb: Fox13 caught some statement LDS President Nelson made about firearm laws and featured it for a bit on their website. The main part they focused on is:

“…Well, God allows us to have our agency, and men have passed laws that allow guns to go to people who shouldn’t have them.”

A spokesman for the LDS Church said the quote speaks for itself.

I’ll be blunt. LDS Public Affairs is useless on this since the quote doesn’t really speak for itself. Without a specific example of a law, I have no idea whatsoever what he’s talking about. Besides the current State & Federal laws, Baker Act (and variants), NICS requirements, and ATF Form 4473, there are plenty of laws disqualifying people under various conditions (yes, including mental disorders) from possessing a firearm. So, quite contrary, men have passed laws to block guns going to people who shouldn’t have them (and respect constitutional due process requirements in stripping an individual of the right). Of course, criminals don’t really care about laws so they’ll always try their best to violate them but the law-abiding care and follow them.

Meanwhile, in terms of the Parkland shooting, it’s seems clearer that rather than a lack of laws, we’re seeing a lack of enforcement and due diligence based on the plethora of legal/school/social services interactions with the shooter and the subsequent (in)action by Broward County Sheriff Deputies. Should we look at tweaking laws and mental adjudication/commitment (which also respect constitutional rights) to avoid the failures we’re seeing? Sure. Same with hardening soft targets. But it seems like the first priority will be to address the causes of the failures and determine if priorities and processes rather than laws are what really need to be addressed.

Anyway, back to the statement. I’m basically left shrugging and finding he was expressing a personal opinion and may not have all the facts on hand (he also called the shooter a “sniper” which was not the case). That may well be why Public Affairs put out the statement they did – it was his opinion, what else can they say.

If, on the other hand, he was targeting the 2nd Amendment as a whole and plans on initiating a departure from church being stalwart defender of the US Constitution (including in doctrine), it would be a massive upheaval. Even with the recent weakness on individual rights, I don’t see that at all here, especially with Public Affairs’ quick punt.

Further reading:
Founders: Why the Bill of Rights (including the 2nd Amendment) is pointless.
Yep, the right to bear arms was always clearly intended as a personal right.

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