Reschenthaler Defends Second Amendment During House Judiciary Committee Hearing

February 7, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Yesterday, Congressman Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14) defended law-abiding Americans’ Second Amendment rights during a hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee. The hearing focused on House Democrats’ push to enact more gun control measures, including an assault weapons ban and H.R. 8, a bill that would require onerous federal background checks on almost all private gun transfers.

“As a lifelong resident of southwestern Pennsylvania and a gun owner myself, I know that the overwhelming majority of American gun owners are hardworking, law-abiding citizens looking to protect their families, hunt with their kids, or just put food on the table,” Reschenthaler said.  “I am strongly opposed to H.R. 8 and other legislation that does nothing to address the root causes of gun violence like mental health, and instead limits law-abiding citizens’ ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights.”

Under federal law, anyone wishing to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer must be run through a background check system maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigations. However, H.R. 8 seeks to impose universal background checks on all law-abiding Americans by requiring private citizens to go through a licensed dealer to do something as simple as loan their firearm to a trusted friend or neighbor.  It is worth noting that H.R. 8 would not have stopped many of the recent mass shootings in America, including the tragic violence in Parkland, Florida, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Newtown, Connecticut.

During the hearing, Reschenthaler questioned George Mason University Professor of Constitutional Law and the Second Amendment Joyce Lee Malcolm about whether universal background check legislation such as H.R. 8 is an effective way to address gun violence.  Professor Malcolm responded by explaining that after Britain implemented a national gun registry, they banned personal possession of a handgun. “And because there was a registry, they were able to get all of the handguns that people owned,” she stated. This was possible because law-abiding citizens had registered them. However, within ten years, the crimes with handguns had doubled. “It really did not take the guns away from the people who were going to misuse them. All it did was disarm the law-abiding people,” explained Professor Malcolm. 

“This law is not going to make a difference, it’s just going to make it harder for people, criminalize people who had innocently let someone else use their gun or have to pay an extra fee in order to have the gun legally transferred,” Professor Malcolm concluded.


To watch a clip of Congressman Reschenthaler at yesterday’s hearing, please click here.