"To blame a gun for a crime is to blame a pen for a misspelled word."
"As sad and tragic as those circumstances are, we cannot allow those events to be an excuse to undercut the second amendment and all that it means for liberty in this nation," he said.
Like other Republicans, Messer called for a national dialogue on how to deal with mental health, which he said was a common thread that linked many of last year's shootings.
Messer was joined by a few other Republicans who also called on the administration to back away from its proposals to limit gun ownership. Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) agreed that the Newtown shooting should not be used as "justification" by the White House to limit Second Amendment rights, and suggested that Obama focus his energies on repairing Washington's fiscal situation.
Messer concluded the GOP special order speech by saying that Democrats are wrong to think that by taking away the rights of law-abiding citizens, "somehow those who intend to do harm will not do so."
"History shows that gun bans only keep guns away from law-abiding citizens, not criminals," he said.
The Senate this week is considering a Democratic proposal to reinstate the assault weapons ban, a bill that the Senate may try to pass in the next few weeks.