Rep. Crawford: Due process has to be part of gun debate

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 372 views 

First District Rep. Rick Crawford said citizens’ constitutional rights have to be respected in the volatile, high-profile gun control debate in Congress in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting.

Crawford, who appeared on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics, said that the difficulty in keeping guns out of the hands of those on a “no fly” or “terror watch” list involves guarding against government overreach.

“You can end up on a ‘no fly’ list and you can end up on a ‘terror watch’ list – you’ve certainly got to make a distinction between the two – and you also have to make sure you’re respecting the due process of American citizens in the process of placing them on a ‘no fly’ list or potentially a ‘terror watch’ list and making sure they have due process consideration and potentially getting off of it,” he said. “But I do think that we need to be supporting law enforcement and their efforts to glean intelligence that might protect us and prevent another incident like what happened in Orlando.”

When asked if he supports the concept of preventing gun purchases by those on a “no fly” list, Crawford said, “I think you’re abridging someone’s constitutional rights if you put them on a ‘no fly’ list and then it’s their responsibility to get off of it. I think you rob them of their due process. And I don’t think we rob people of due process on other constitutional rights, say for example, free speech. I think that’s something that you shouldn’t abridge someone’s free speech and then make it their responsibility to earn that right back. I think that there has to be a due rights process consideration in all constitutional regards.”

A member of the House Agriculture committee, Rep. Crawford has been advocating for tougher inspections of imported catfish through the U.S. Department of Agriculture versus the Food and Drug Administration. According to press reports, the USDA has found a number of problematic imports of Vietnamese catfish that have been contaminated with chemicals and carcinogens.

Crawford said the USDA needs to remain in charge of these food inspections.

“I think it’s one example where we got policy right and the agency that is now in charge of inspecting catfish is actually doing it right,” he said. “In my opinion, this is an agency that has shown that they have food safety as their primary mission and they’re doing it right. This is in line with other imported meats, like beef, chicken, poultry, anything that’s imported into the country should be subject to the same safety requirements and restrictions that domestic commodities are… I don’t have a problem with foreign products entering the country. What I do have a problem with is unsafe foreign products entering the country and becoming part of our food source.”

On presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, Crawford – a former Marco Rubio supporter – said he stands behind Trump and doesn’t think there will be a successful convention revolt in Cleveland next month.

“I really think that it’s important that I reflect the wishes of my constituents and support our nominee,” Crawford said. “I think it [convention revolt] is just some talk and it keeps the conversation alive. Ultimately, I don’t think that’s going anywhere. And look, Donald Trump, whether you like him or not, he garnered more primary votes, I think, than any Republican presidential nominee in history, so I really think these efforts are going to fall flat.”

Watch Crawford’s full interview in the video below.