Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) on March 30 said that more gun laws will restrict law-abiding citizens from protecting themselves while doing little to stop violence, coming after the House passed two gun control bills last month.
Most Americans consider using a gun to defend themselves as their last line of defense, Perry told The Epoch Times. “But these two bills don’t really do anything except infringe upon the rights of law abiding citizens,” he said.
“Unfortunately, [lawmakers] claim it’s to address the problems of these mass shootings. But neither one of these bills would effectively make a difference in any of the recent mass shootings,” Perry said, referring to the March 22 shooting at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado, that left 10 people dead.
His comments come after the House in March passed two gun-control bills that would require stricter background checks for gun sales.
The first gun control bill, passed by the House on March 11, aims to fill loopholes and extend background checks for gun buyers to private and online sales that usually go undetected, including at gun shows. The second bill would extend background checks for buyers from three days to 10 days.
“Oftentimes, more gun laws restrict law-abiding citizens. [The laws] do nothing to curb violence, gun violence in particular. And oftentimes, unfortunately, [they] aid and assist the criminals in carrying out acts of violence. Criminals, just by their definition, do not abide by laws.”
Instead, the root causes of violence should be addressed, Perry said, which according to the lawmaker is the break down of the family and the lax enforcement of straw purchases of guns.
According to the FBI, more than 4 million background checks were done for gun purchases in January, the most in a single month since 1998. And another 3.4 million background checks were done in February. The total population of the United States is 330 million.
Perry said he believes Americans are buying guns more than ever now because of rising crime rates and calls to defund the police.
“First of all, we see just enormous spiking crimes, especially in urban centers,” Perry said. “At the very same moment, we’re seeing rhetoric and actual action to defund our law enforcement community. So citizens feel they have no choice but to protect themselves and defend themselves if they have to, and they need to be prepared for that if the police are not even going to be present.”
“And then you add the rhetoric of the Biden administration that it’s going to either take weapons away, or that it’s going to limit Americans’ ability to defend themselves. I think all those weigh very heavily on the concerns and the minds of Americans.”
There were 4,000 more homicides across the United States in 2020 than the year before. As of March 29, there were 119 homicides in Philadelphia, up 28 percent from last year, according to the Philadelphia Police Department. Philadelphia police have arrested 742 people this year, more than double the number during the same period last year. However, the number of court convictions has been falling every year.
“Whether it’s from criminals or from the overreach of the government, they are keenly aware of that, and they want to make sure that they are prepared,” Perry said said. “I think it’s really important for American citizens to envision themselves in a place where the police have been defunded,” he added. “There’s no one left to defend themselves, and how will they be able to do that [defend themselves] if their last line of defense is taken away?”
Perry added that he believes the Democrat-controlled Congress will continue to push for gun control laws and other constitutionally guaranteed rights.
“I do think that the hard radical left, as the face of the Democrat Party, will continue in their quest for greater restrictions on self defense and our constitutional rights,” he added.
Pennsylvania Gun Owners
Brad Mitchell, a gun owner, said he ordered a shotgun at the Morgantown gun show in Pennsylvania but hasn’t yet received it. He had filled out a form and was waiting for a background check.
“I have a couple of others, but I didn’t have a shotgun,” he told The Epoch Times on March 27. “So I wanted to get one for target shooting. For pleasure shooting.”
“I don’t hunt, but I do like to go target shooting, and then not for immediate safety, but if anything ever fell apart, it’s nice to have them if you need them.”
Mitchell said he didn’t follow much news about gun control legislation because he didn’t mind stricter background checks.
“I don’t think that gun regulation is really going to make a difference there,” he said. “It really shouldn’t be a law to basically cover everybody else that doesn’t cause any trouble.”
‘It’s a God-given right’
Harold Miller, another Pennsylvania resident whose owned guns for more than 30 years, said he had just purchased some accessories and ammunition.
“We want to be able to protect ourselves,” Miller told The Epoch Times. “Sometimes the police are too far away.”
He said he wasn’t very familiar with the new legislation passed in the House, but that he’s against gun control measures.
“I don’t watch the news anymore, because they’re too biased,” he said. “I get most of my news from social media, so I can’t really elaborate. But I am just not happy with what they’re trying to do.”
“It’s a God-given right,” he continued. “It can’t be infringed, according to our Founding Fathers, Second Amendment.”
Miller doesn’t believe that stricter gun control will reduce crime.
“Criminals are always going to get guns anyhow, I think this restricts us [law-abiding citizens] more.”
Epoch Times reporter Xiao Jie contributed to this report.