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GOP Rep. Burgess Owens blasts Democrats' push for 'racist' gun control laws

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MLK Jr. was denied carry permits because he was black

Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Former NFL star Burgess Owens, who is now serving as a U.S. representative from Utah, took to the House floor this week to rip two gun control measures being pushed by the Democratic majority.

The two bills, H.R. 8 and H.R. 1446, have the full backing of the Biden administration and are opposed by pro-Second Amendment groups.

H.R. 8 will expand universal background check requirements to include all private firearm transactions, require private gun sales to go through a licensed dealer, and effectively ban adults age 18 to 20 years old from buying handguns.

H.R. 1446 will extend the time the FBI has to perform an "instant" background check from three business days to at least 10 business days, Bearing Arms' Cam Edwards reported. The bill "could extend the waiting period indefinitely," Edwards added.

Rep. Owens had a big problem with both of these bills — and he noted that this kind of gun control was often used to keep blacks in check.

What did he say?

In a floor speech Wednesday, Owens cited concerns his constituents expressed that the bills will "make it impossible to sell or loan guns" to relatives or trusted friends and will "impose restrictions on natural rights."

Owens vowed to fight the bills with "every tool in my grasp" in his stand for "rights to protect my life, liberty and property" that "were granted to me by God and cannot be taken from me by D.C. bureaucrats."

Then the former defensive back explained why Americans — especially minorities — should not allow the government to curb their Second Amendment rights: It was the government that kept blacks down with discriminatory laws, including gun proscription.

"I grew up in the Deep South at a time when black Americans were unable to defend themselves," he said. "After the Civil War, Black Codes and Jim Crow laws prohibited people of color from owning firearms."

Owens then reminded lawmakers that "racist gun control laws" kept Martin Luther King Jr. from being able to fully protect himself.

"In the mid-1950s, Martin Luther King Jr. kept firearms for self-protection, but his application for a concealed weapons permit was denied because of racist gun control laws in his state," Owens said.

And then he got personal, sharing the story of how important guns were in his family to protect against attacks from whites in the South:

As a child, my dad witnessed an altercation between his father and a southern white man who thought my grandfather was being disrespectful and threatened to teach him a lesson. Later that night, he drove up to my grandfather's home with a bunch of his friends standing on the forerunner of a Model-T Ford.

My grandfather was prepared — he and his brothers hid around his front porch. As these bullies and cowards approached the house, they heard the click of rifles and left just as fast as they came.

Without ever firing his gun on another human being, my grandfather's right to own a firearm ensured his rights to protect his life, liberty, and property.

Unfortunately, Owens' words fell on deaf congressional ears. The Democratic House majority passed both measures Wednesday evening.

GOP lawmaker invokes Martin Luther King Jr. in opposition to gun control bill www.youtube.com

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