Congressman Robert Pittenger

Representing the 9th District of North Carolina
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2nd Amendment Rights

Every right comes with an equal responsibility.  How should we react when someone carelessly exercises their rights?

In the aftermath of tragedies, when emotions run high, we must be careful to avoid knee-jerk reactions and look for genuine solutions to the root of the problem.  The actions of an errant few who abuse their freedoms should not curtail the rights of law-abiding American citizens.

The Louisiana theater shooting, the Colorado movie massacre, the tragedy in Sandy Hook, and the horrific weekend of violence earlier this year in Chicago all demonstrate the terrible result of America’s culture of violence.  As a father and grandfather, this constant glorification of violence on TV, in movies, music, and video games, deeply troubles me.

Criminals, by definition, do not obey the law.  History has shown gun control laws will not prevent mass shootings.  There was an assault weapons ban in effect at the time of Columbine, the guns used at Sandy Hook were stolen, and a breakdown in the existing background check system allowed Charleston shooter Dylann Roof to purchase a gun.

In recent years, various government agencies have declined to prosecute 77,000 gun law violations. New restrictions on purchasing firearms will not stop criminals from obtaining guns, but will prevent law-abiding citizens from exercising their Constitutional rights.

My position is based on ongoing consultation with local law enforcement who tell me recent gun control proposals wouldn’t prevent future tragedies, and wouldn’t stop criminals from obtaining firearms.

However, local sheriffs have explained that HIPAA regulations often prevent them from checking mental health records when processing applications for gun permits.  We must do a better job keeping guns from those with serious mental illness, but unfortunately, there is currently strong opposition in Washington to reforming HIPAA to accommodate gun safety needs while still protecting sensitive medical information.

As a community, we must also ensure families and local law enforcement have the resources they need to help those suffering from serious mental illness.

In ordering the Bill of Rights, our Founding Fathers placed “the right to keep and bear arms” second in importance only to the “freedom of speech,” making the Second Amendment a key plank in the Ship of State.  As your Congressman, I am committed to protecting our Constitutional rights.

The only true and lasting solution is to work on the heart of our Nation – to fight back against the glorification of violence in music, movies, television, and video games.  Only when our nation regains its moral footing will our children be truly safe.

More on 2nd Amendment Rights

Dec 7, 2017 Press Release
Congressman Robert Pittenger (NC-09) issued this statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 38):
Jun 14, 2013 In The News

A group of community activists marked the six-month anniversary of the Newtown school shooting by urging Friday for passing of legislation requiring universal background checks for prospective gun owners.

Gathering on a playground next to West Charlotte High School in northwest Charlotte, about 15 people rallied in support of a bill under consideration in Congress.

They said it might help prevent violence like the killings of 20 students and six staff members at a Newtown (Conn.) elementary school in mid-December.