Gun-friendly Florida lawmakers like U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz and Greg Steube have been outspoken about their opposition to the Democrats’ hastily assembled new gun-control bill.

Florida Rep. Donalds Joins Gaetz And Steube On Gun Rights, Calling Senate Bill “Emotional Legislation”

Gun-friendly Florida lawmakers like U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz and Greg Steube have been outspoken about their opposition to the Democrats’ hastily assembled new gun-control bill.

Add Rep. Byron Donalds to the list.

In an interview Wednesday with gun expert Cam Edwards of the pro-Second Amendment website Bearing Arms, Donalds said he opposes the pending federal red-flag law at issue as an affront to constitutional rights, which was born of something else he rejects: Congress’ ready willingness to legislate by emotion.

On the latter point, Donalds told Edwards that “you have to defend the Constitution even when it’s not popular,” especially the Second Amendment in the wake of horrific mass shootings.

“All governments,” said Donalds, “have a habit of legislating emotionally to respond to the emotions of the body politic.” But, he added, “when you’re an elected official your number one duty, and I say this all the time when I’m looking at people running for office, the number one quality I look for is restraint.

“Do you have enough, you know, emotional maturity to actually restrain yourself from just acting because you have the power in your hands to do so? Do you have the ability to actually take a step back and look at the situation logically and plan out the best path forward from a legislative perspective?”

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Congress, Donalds said, is overly prone to “emotional legislation.”

“This is the key reason why we are a constitutional republic and not a pure democracy,” said Donalds. “Because the Framers were very concerned about the whims and the passions of the public at any given point in time.”

The Naples Republican said Washington should work with states to improve mental health services, tighten school security including using armed and trained sentinels and do more to train cops, unlike those in Uvalde, to respond with courage and decisiveness.

As for the Senate bill now under consideration, Donalds said he opposed that because it does contain a red-flag law provision.

“When I was in the Florida Legislature I voted against the school safety bill because it contained ‘red flag’ laws. Look, the reality is ‘red flag’ laws take away the Fifth Amendment due process rights of legal gun owners,” said Donalds.

“I understand where people say we want to get guns out of the hands of people who are mentally unfit. I understand that. But in the United States every American citizen has due process rights. We cannot eviscerate due process rights because of our concern that somebody in our family or a neighbor might have.”

“You have to give people their legitimate ability to defend themselves in the court of law. That is our system of government,” Donalds added. “Based upon that alone, I can’t support the legislation.”

Donalds also said he objects to the bill because it would raise the age limit for some gun purchases. That, he noted, didn’t make sense and deprives people of rights since they can undertake other legal pursuits once they turn 18.

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