Missouri couple, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, are currently plagued by a fierce legal and political battle. In June, they defended their home in St. Louis against rioters. The violent mob trespassed on their private property and screamed at them with threats of murder and assault. This prompted the McCloskeys to defend themselves and their property by brandishing their firearms. Under Missouri law and the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, self-defense is their right.

During the McCloskeys’ speech at the Republican National Convention, the couple rightfully pointed out that not a single person in the trespassing mob was ever charged with a crime. Worse yet, as Mark McCloskey stated, “They’ve actually charged us with felonies for daring to defend our home.” The recently elected St. Louis prosecutor, Kim Gardner, decided to pursue criminal charges against the couple and served a search warrant and seized their firearm.

The right to defend your private property is a basic principle from our nation’s founding, and now it is under attack like never before.

In Congress, I continue to fight for the constitutional “right of the people to keep and bear arms.” I never want the great citizens of West Virginia to ever have to fear a rightful defense of their lives and their properties.

In response to the action taken against the McCloskeys, I sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr urging him to take decisive action to uphold the rule of law and to protect the rights of citizens to defend their homes and businesses. I followed up again insisting on a full investigation of prosecutor Kim Gardner’s actions against the couple.

After events in St. Louis in June, I cosponsored The American Family and Private Property Defense Act (H.R. 7716). This ensures legal protections for citizens who defend their homes and private property. The bill would set a standard in federal law that individuals can use force to defend themselves. This would simply extend Missouri’s existing castle doctrine laws.

The number of Americans exercising their Second Amendment rights by purchasing firearms has increased dramatically in the past couple of months. After recent riots and the destruction of private property that ensued, Americans are rightfully concerned about their safety. Patricia McCloskey echoed the sentiment of Americans nationwide when she spoke about her experience. She said, “What you saw happen to us could just as easily happen to any of you who are watching from quiet neighborhoods around our country.”

Major cities in America are voting to cut funding for police and are ordering them to stand aside while rioters burn down buildings. We cannot protect ourselves if we lose our police and our Second Amendment rights. The only people that would have guns under this scenario are criminals. We are at a crossroads.

You can count on me as your Congressman to continue to work tirelessly to ensure that you never lose your constitutional right to self-defense, no matter how hard the radical left demands otherwise.

Standing strong together, we will maintain our right to bear arms, we will keep our families safe and we will show the left-wing mob what it means to be Mountaineer strong!