Sessions Calls Second Amendment a ‘Personal Right’ in Confirmation Hearing

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Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.) said during his confirmation hearing on Tuesday that the Second Amendment is a "personal right" that should be protected the same way other rights recognized in the Constitution are.

While being questioned by Sen. John Kennedy (R., La.) on his views of the Second Amendment, Sessions said he has a clear record of support for gun rights.

"In Louisiana, senator, we believe that love is the answer, but we also believe that we have the right under the Constitution to own a gun just in case," Kennedy said. "Could you share with me your thoughts on the Second Amendment?"

"Well, I do believe the Second Amendment is a personal right," Sessions responded. "It's a historic right of the American people, and the Constitution protects it and explicitly states it. It's just as much a part of the Constitution as any of the other great rights and liberties that we value. So, my record is pretty clear on that."

Sessions went on to say that, like any right, gun rights can be removed if somebody is convicted of a serious crime.

"However, people can forfeit their right to have a gun and it can be a factor in receiving sentences and being prosecuted if you carry a gun, for example, during a commission of a crime," he said. "That can add penalty and convictions to you. I think that's a legitimate and responsible restraint on the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms."

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Stephen Gutowski is a staff writer for the Washington Free Beacon. He founded his own site as a junior in college and has been writing about news and politics since that time. He spent 4 years with the Media Research Center and was most recently with the Capitol City Project. His email address is Gutowski@FreeBeacon.com. His twitter handle is @StephenGutowski.