WASHINGTON, D.C. — By his own words, US Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) has precluded himself from ever being able to serve as United States Attorney General, a leading firearms civil rights activist said today.

“The country is fortunate that Chuck Schumer has defined the parameters of what it takes to be Attorney General,” said Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. “In setting those parameters, Mr. Schumer has effectively taken himself out of the running.”

Gottlieb cited Schumer’s opening statements during the confirmation hearing for Attorney General-designee John Ashcroft. Said Schumer: “The position requires the utmost in balanced judgment, clarity of thought, sound use of discretion and cautious decision-making…When you have been such a zealous and impassioned advocate for so long, how do you just turn it off? This may be an impossible task.”

Schumer continued his definition, noting that an Attorney General must be able to “Set his advocacy to one side and become the balanced decision-maker with an unclouded vision of the law that this country deserves…” as head of the Justice Department.

New York’s senior senator also criticized Ashcroft for being “a leading advocate against gun control.”

Responding to Schumer’s remarks, Gottlieb observed, “For years, Chuck Schumer has been this country’s leading congressional advocate for every restrictive gun law that came along. He’s been zealous. He’s impassioned to the extreme. Using his own criteria, how could Schumer ever make a fair and balanced decision on whether to fight unconstitutional infringements on the individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms?”

Gottlieb expressed his gratitude to Schumer for literally pronouncing himself unfit to lead the Justice Department.

“When Schumer argued that this issue ‘goes beyond ideology,’ he’s absolutely right,” Gottlieb stated. “Chuck Schumer’s long history of legislative attacks on private gun ownership goes way beyond ideology. A man with his kind of anti-gun fanaticism could never sit as Attorney General, where his personal beliefs would indelibly color his judgment on when, and when not, to enforce the law.”