Senator Portman casts nauseating vote to confirm Loretta Lynch as U.S. Attorney General

Last month, the New York Times reported that Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) was among a handful of Republican senators upon whom Loretta Lynch's confirmation for United States Attorney General swung.

After a lengthy confirmation process, and by a 56-43 vote, Lynch was confirmed. Portman was a key senator whose support made Lynch's confirmation possible.

The National Rifle Association opposed Lynch's confirmation to the same position that has been used by Eric Holder to subvert Second Amendment rights and abuse gun owners for the past six years, saying:

We know Lynch supports the Obama administration’s position to ban “assault weapons.” And, we know that the general-purpose rifles that gun control supporters call “assault weapons”--such as the AR-15--are the most popular rifles in the United States. We also know that the President’s previous choice for Attorney General--Eric Holder--clearly demonstrated the damage an Obama-appointed, agenda-driven, anti-gun Attorney General can do to our rights and freedoms as Americans.

As our friend Dave Workman observes, what isn't known is whether Lynch will cooperate in the investigation of the deadly gun-walking scandal, known as Operation Fast and Furious, by releasing to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform everything it wants, and holding responsible people in the Justice Department accountable.

Workman also raises other important and unanswered questions:

News reports say Lynch has a reputation for “being tough on terrorism.” Can she tell the difference between a terrorist and a Second Amendment activist? Would she support or oppose a national concealed carry reciprocity bill, for example? Not a measure that sets a federal standard for licensing, but one that simply mandates that every state recognize every other state’s concealed carry license, a simple matter equal to recognition of a driver’s license from state to state. Would she be willing to prosecute for violations of civil rights under color of law?

Will Lynch be willing to enforce provisions of the Firearm Owners Protection Act that protect travelers? Bottom line: Can she tell the good guys from the bad guys? Hint: The good guys are the millions of law-abiding citizens who own guns and don't commit crimes; people who are licensed to carry or lucky enough to live in states that don’t require licenses. Good guys are people who not only understand their civil rights, but exercise them.

In light of the numerous executive orders, constitutional violations and lies from the Obama administration, a statement issued by Portman's office is only going to serve to offend gun owners more:

“I plan to vote to confirm Loretta Lynch because I think new leadership is needed at the Justice Department. I have serious concerns about the current Attorney General, who has stated that he will stay until a new Attorney General is confirmed. No one disputes that Ms. Lynch is well-qualified. She has extensive experience as a U.S. Attorney, including dealing with cases regarding national security. I believe her long career as a federal prosecutor would bring a different, and less politicized, perspective to the job.

“I strongly oppose the President’s executive actions on immigration, which I believe are illegal and unconstitutional. I raised those issues with Ms. Lynch and she assured me during our meeting and in writing that she will give nationwide effect to the court order currently blocking the implementation of the President’s executive order. I also have concerns about some of Ms. Lynch's other positions, including on protecting Second Amendment rights. However, I believe Ms. Lynch would be an improvement, she is qualified for the position, and I intend to vote yes to confirm her.”

Six years into this corrupt administration and in the wake of scandals such as Fast & Furious and Benghazi, as well as Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan's assurance during her confirmation process that she would not let her anti-gun bias influence her decisions, it is beyond troubling that someone as highly regarded as Senator Portman would fall for more of the same.

The last time a Republican senator from Ohio (Mike DeWine) turned his back on gun owners, he was soundly defeated and his party lost control of the Senate.

In 2016, Sen. Portman faces a re-election challenge from former Congressman and Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D), who served gun owners extremely well as a legislator and governor, but who disillusioned many by appointing an anti-gun person to the Ohio Supreme Court before leaving office, and later by going to work for an anti-gun rights think tank in Washington D.C.

If Sen. Portman expects to earn gun owners' votes, he will now need to produce tangible results that advance gun rights, just as he has produced results for anti-gun rights extremists with his confirmation vote.

Jim Irvine is the Buckeye Firearms Association President, BFA PAC Chairman and recipient of the NRA-ILA's 2011 "Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award" and the CCRKBA's 2012 "Gun Rights Defender of the Year Award."

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, BFA PAC Vice Chairman, and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is the editor of, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.

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