Thomas Massie

Rep. Thomas Massie to Chair Revived Second Amendment Caucus in Congress


Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) will be chair of a newly relaunched Congressional Second Amendment Caucus. (Earlier versions existed from 2004-08, and 2009-13.)

Gage Skidmore

According to a press release today from his office, Massie believes the results of this year's election "present us with a new opportunity to advance pro-gun legislation and reverse the erosion of the Second Amendment that's occurred over the last few decades."

The release also quotes former Rep. Paul Broun (who ran an earlier version of the caucus from 2009-13) as saying that "Preserving the right to keep and bear arms is essential to maintaining freedom and liberty in our country."

"While many of us lawyers are working to secure pro-gun reforms in the courts, it's reassuring to know that the Second Amendment Caucus is doing the same in the legislature," Alan Gura, the lawyer who won both of the most promising cases this century for Second Amendment liberties, McDonald v. City of Chicago and District of Columbia v. Heller, said in that release.

Massie's office offered as one example of the type of legislation the caucus and its members hopes to introduce and promote 2015's cheekily titled "Hearing Protection Act".

That would, as reported, treat silencers the same way as a long gun in terms of the legal hoops one had to jump through to buy one.

Massie spokesperson Lorenz Isidro explains that under current law, silencers must be registered "under the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record (ATF background check takes 4-9 months) and pay $200 for a tax stamp," a far more onerous process than for "Title I" weapons, most typical long guns and handguns. Silencers are largely treated the same as machine guns and sawed-off shotguns under current law, which that proposed bill would change.

Founding members of the caucus are:

Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Ted Yoho (R-FL), Brian Babin (R-TX), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Mark Meadows (R-NC), Ken Buck (R-CO), Alex Mooney (R-WV), Justin Amash (R-MI), Jody Hice (R-GA), Dave Brat (R-VA), Warren Davidson (R-OH), Scott Perry (R-PA), and James Comer (R-KY).

Massie had been rumored last week to possibly be leaving Congress to join the Trump administration as head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, though as Reason's Ed Krayewski reported, those rumors were news to Massie himself.