Congressman Doug LaMalfa
This week, Congress passed several pieces of legislation that aimed to reinforce our support of this nation's law enforcement officers in honor of National Police Week. We recognize the sacrifices that law enforcement officers make and honor the memory of those who gave their lives to protect and defend their fellow citizens from criminals. Over 54 law enforcement officers of California's First Congressional District have given their lives to protect their fellow citizens, a number that is far too high.
First, we introduced and passed House Concurrent Resolution 40, a simple piece of legislation that expresses Congress's support for America's law enforcement officers and condemning recent efforts to defund and dismantle the police. We have had plenty of experience with the latter here in California, where city governments have demonized and defunded their police departments, and the State has reduced penalties for lawlessness. These policies caused a surge in crime, drug abuse, and homelessness that has endangered the lives of millions of Californians. The past few years have proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that anti-law and order policy is destabilizing and leads to social collapse as well as chaos.
Our major piece of legislation for Police Week was the Protect Our Law enforcement with Immigration Control and Enforcement (POLICE) Act of 2023. The bill makes it an immediately deportable offense for an illegal immigrant to assault a police officer. Illegal immigrants have already broken our laws by entering our country, and to then go on to commit an assault against this nation's law enforcement further underscores the point that they should not be here and do not belong in American society.
Finally, Congress passed the Federal Law Enforcement Officer Service Weapon Purchase Act. This bill allows retiring law enforcement personnel to purchase their service weapons at market price from the government. Currently, when a law enforcement officer retires, their weapon is destroyed at cost to the taxpayer. Allowing them to purchase their weapon if they so choose is both fiscally sound and consistent with the Second Amendment. If an LEO wishes to keep his or her service weapon after being good stewards of it throughout their careers, then they should be allowed to do so in compliance with existing gun regulations.
House Republicans believe in the rule of law and social stability. These bills reinforce our nation's sovereignty and social cohesion and our appreciation for the courageous few who risk it all to preserve law and order. Painful experiences in California and cities across the United States have shown that soft-on-crime policies such as cashless bail, catch and release, and lenient sentencing do not work. Thinking like this must be brought to an end if stability and order are to return to our nation's streets.
Member of Congress