HARRISBURG, Pa. — Thousands gathered in the city last week to celebrate the Second Amendment and join former President Trump during the NRA’s Great American Outdoor Show.
“Every single Biden attack on gun owners and manufacturers will be terminated on my very first week back in office, perhaps my first day,” Trump said Friday evening to a cheering crowd at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center.
Trump headlined the NRA Presidential Forum during the event, where protecting the Second Amendment took center stage in the battleground state. The speech marked the eighth time Trump has addressed NRA members, with previous speeches dating back to 2015. The NRA’s Great American Outdoor Show is billed as the world’s largest outdoor show that features more than 1,000 exhibitors across 650,000 square feet of exhibit space over the course of nine days of events.
The former president vowed that if reelected “no one will lay a finger on your firearms.”
“I will uphold those glorious words: ‘shall not be infringed.’”
Trump’s comments come after President Biden and Vice President Harris have repeatedly vowed to “take on the NRA” and ban so-called assault weapons. The president has signed dozens of executive actions during the last three years with regard to gun control, as well as the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which was not supported by the NRA due to what the group described as broad language and failing to address violent crimes.
Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Guy Reschenthaler spoke to Fox News Digital ahead of Trump’s speech on Friday and said Democrats “don’t understand these platforms” of gun control and are actually angling to achieve “total government control.”
“The Democrats when they … openly now say that they want to take your AR, and we have candidates in Texas saying that Joe Biden has said that we don’t need the right to have these weapons,” he said. “They don’t understand these platforms, but at the root, they want to have total government control. And they don’t think individuals should have the right to carry, should have the right to have firearms. So, we have to always be focused on the Second Amendment and fighting to preserve our rights.”
Trump won Pennsylvania in the 2016 election but not in 2020, and Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Scott Perry tells Fox News Digital that he anticipates the former president to make repeat trips to the state ahead of Election Day 2024, noting that gun owners will play a key role in Trump potentially winning.
“The president, I think, is going to spend a lot of time in Pennsylvania. It’s a battleground state. He needs to win Pennsylvania to win the rest of the country. He can win it. He’s won in the past, and we’re going to welcome him. … There’s a lot of gun owners in Pennsylvania, we understand where our rights come from and what protects them. So, it’s important to us,” Perry told Fox News Digital in an interview Friday evening.
Pennsylvania’s state Constitution reads: “The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned.” Perry told Fox News Digital that in Pennsylvania, “We believe in the constitution.”
“The foundation of much of what was done during the Revolutionary War happened in Pennsylvania,” Perry said. “So, the Constitution, but more importantly what’s in it, is really important to us; and of course, our rights, ordained by God but enumerated in the Constitution. And all of those are protected by the Second Amendment. So, if you love the First Amendment, God bless you, the Fourth Amendment, God bless you – any one of them. If you love the document and what it says and the freedoms you have, back to the Second Amendment because that’s what preserves it. That’s what it means to us,” he said.
Reschenthaler said the state’s constitution protecting the right to bear arms is an “amendment that protects all the other amendments.”
“Pennsylvania has a robust [version] of the Second Amendment. In our Constitution, for example, it says … the right to self-defense shall not be questioned in Pennsylvania. So, starting off with that, you understand where the framers were with the Second Amendment and our right to carry and bear arms,” he said.
Reschenthaler represents Pennsylvania’s 14th Congressional District, which is in the southwestern part of the state and encompasses areas such as Fayette County, Greene County and Washington County. The congressman said that for his constituents, the Second Amendment is a top issue as crime trends rise.
“It’s incredibly important in my district to have the right to carry and to have arms, especially with the rising crime rates. You know, it’s amazing that the same people that walk around with their own private security are the ones that want to tell you that you don’t have the right to carry,” he said.
Perry called on every registered Republican in the Keystone State to vote this election year to usher in a national red wave.
“If every person that is registered to vote that’s a Republican, if every single one of them will vote, we will win easily. That’s all that needs to happen. If you are a registered Republican, just vote. You have 50 days in Pennsylvania now, there’s no reason, there’s no excuse not to vote. If you’re concerned about your rights, if you care about your rights, if you care about your country, your community, your safety, the safety of your family, your economic well-being, then you need to be voting,” he said.
Trump headed to South Carolina after the NRA speech. He will face off against former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley in the Republican primary this month. So far this primary season, Trump has won New Hampshire as well as the Iowa and Nevada caucuses.