Fox’s Shannon Bream asks Mike Lee if he’s ‘out of step’ with constituency for backing 2nd Amendment

(Video: Fox News)

With details of the bipartisan Senate gun control bill still being hammered out, Fox News anchor Shannon Bream put Senator Mike Lee on the spot over his desire to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans by confronting him with a network poll that showed strong support for restrictive measures including controversial red flag laws.

The Utah Republican appeared on “Fox News Sunday” to discuss the progress of the legislation that President Biden and Democrats have been demanding in the aftermath of two recent mass shootings, one in a Buffalo, N.Y. grocery store and the other in a Uvalde, Texas elementary school, leading a gaggle of GOP “moderates” along with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to join forces with the opposition party.

Bream ticked off a list of areas covered by the stalled legislation, raising the point of the red flag laws and downplaying the concern that such laws would be abused to target conservatives – especially Trump supporters – in order to confiscate their guns or as Fox’s Tucker Carlson put it, “if somebody doesn’t like the cut of your jib, you lose your constitutional rights.”

“Look, most of those things sound unobjectionable,” Lee began, “the issue that we have here is that we don’t have a bill. That’s why I was surprised when last week, about a week ago when you had this gang of 20 emerge saying ‘we have a deal,’ we started expecting to see a bill. Now I personally refused to indicate whether I or how I will vote on a bill until I had seen the text because there are a lot of things that can go wrong in legislation.”

He continued, “I kept asking to see text and it became apparent they didn’t have a bill, in fact, they don’t have a deal at all. What they had was agreement on a series of very broad promises. Now I know there is some bill text that’s probably been written, but on the most contentious, controversial, potentially impactful provisions,  there is no language.”

“Without that language, you can’t ascertain if it’s okay, but Shannon, the important thing here is we’ve got to be careful whenever something like this happens, that we not legislate under the heat of the moment under great emotion without looking at the text and figuring out what we are doing,” Lee said, “and we need to be careful that we not punish law-biding Americans for the wrongs carried out by the criminally minded and the insane,” Lee said.

Bream then went to the poll to suggest that his insistence on protecting the constitutional rights of his constituents was “out of step” with public opinion.

(Image: Screengrab: Fox News)

“There is a lot of momentum at least among the public sphere for doing this, are you out of step with your constituents?” Bream asked.

Lee responded, “Ok, so first of all, what’s important is that we look out for the rights of constituents. Constituents are asked poll questions, they are not asked questions about specific language within legislative text.”

“It’s the job of the lawmaker to look out for the interest and the rights of the law-abiding citizens they represent, and so, with each of those provisions, I understand how they can get high popularity readings when they don’t define them,” he continued.

“For example, you talk about banning assault weapons, there is no universal definition of what an assault weapon is,” Sen. Lee pointed out. “Very often, the true distinction really depends on whether the stock pieces of the gun are made of wood, or of plastic, or of composite, and so the text does matter here, because it’s that text that will determine whether we’re intruding unduly on the rights of the American law-abiding citizen, and doing so in a way that would actually deter violent criminal behavior.”

Lee reacted to the announcement of the “bipartisan” proposal by emphasizing his intent to protect the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.

“I will always stand on the side of the Second Amendment, law-abiding Americans, due process, and justice. Those who commit acts of rampage violence are criminals who must be stopped. I look forward to reviewing this legislation,” he wrote on Twitter.

Later in the segment, Lee said that while the pro-gun control Republicans have reached out to him, “I still have yet to see bill text. I still have yet to have any of my questions detailing with what the provisions would do answered.”

“You know it’s one thing Shannon if they can identify with reasonable particularity what the provisions will do, they haven’t even been able to do that,” he added. “And that’s what concerns me is that this, this gang of 20 emerged saying we’ve got a deal, there was no bill, there still is no deal and yet we continue to be asked by colleagues, by constituents, by reporters ‘are you supporting the bill?’ just as a number of senators are rushing to sign on to the bill, to say they support the bill when it doesn’t exist.”

“This is a very dangerous way to legislate,” Lee said.

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