What: All Issues : Justice for All: Civil and Criminal : Gun Control : (H.R. 2499) On an amendment that would have required Puerto Rico -- if it were to become a state -- to adopt English as the official language, and requiring Puerto Rico to enact laws guaranteeing its residents have the right to own, possess, carry, and transport firearms (2010 house Roll Call 241)
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(H.R. 2499) On an amendment that would have required Puerto Rico -- if it were to become a state -- to adopt English as the official language, and requiring Puerto Rico to enact laws guaranteeing its residents have the right to own, possess, carry, and transport firearms
house Roll Call 241     Apr 29, 2010
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This was a vote on a motion to recommit by Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA) that would have required Puerto Rico -- if it were to become a state -- to adopt English as its official language. In addition, it required Puerto Rico to enact laws guaranteeing its residents have the right to own, possess, carry, and transport firearms. A motion to recommit with instructions is the minority's last chance to make substantive changes to a bill before a final up-or-down vote on the measure. If successful, the motion sends the legislation back to committee with instructions to amend the legislation as specified.  

Hastings argued his motion to recommit would simply have stated that "English will be the official language of the state, and all official business will be conducted in English; two, laws will be in place that will `ensure residents have the Second Amendment right to own, possess, carry, use for self-defense, store assembled at home, and transport for lawful purposes, firearms and in any amount ammunition, providing that such keeping and bearing of firearms and ammunition does not otherwise violate federal law.'''

Del. Pedro R. Pierluisi (D-Puerto Rico) urged opposition to the motion to recommit: "The matters that are being raised in this motion are premature. They are irrelevant, actually, because all that H.R. 2499 does is to consult the people of Puerto Rico on the four available options that they have regarding our status--the current status of the territory, statehood, independence, and free association. The people of Puerto Rico have not yet expressed by a majority that they want to join the Union as a State. I hope that it comes about, and when it comes about, Puerto Rico will comply with the Second Amendment in the same way that all the other States must comply with the Second Amendment."

The House rejected the motion to recommit by a vote of 194-198. 162 Republicans and 32 Democrats voted "yea." 192 Democrats – including a majority of the most progressive members -- and 6 Republicans voted "nay." As a result, the House rejected an amendment that would have required Puerto Rico -- if it were to become a state -- to adopt English as the official language, and requiring Puerto Rico to enact laws guaranteeing its residents have the right to own, possess, carry, and transport firearms.

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