WASHINGTON, D.C.— Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) released the following statement after passage of H.R. 8, a Democrat gun control bill that will criminalize law-abiding citizens, and will not reduce violence:
“I strongly oppose the gun control bills brought forward this week under the guise of background checks. Republicans identified many problems with this bill and the Democrat majority shut out almost every one of our solutions. The Democrats think just saying ‘background checks’ makes this a good bill, but this bill makes criminals out of law-abiding citizens.
“Under this bill, if you loan your gun to a friend and he wants to go to the shooting range to see if this is the right kind of gun to protect himself, which he has a right to do under the Second Amendment, that act would make you a criminal subject to a year in jail and up to a $100,000 fine. We tried to fix that problem, and Democrats shut us out.
“Under this bill, a woman who is a victim of domestic violence might have to wait 20 business days to get a gun to protect herself if the NICS system isn’t working. If she has a temporary restraining order and tries to borrow a firearm for self-defense, the friend who loans her the gun would face a year in prison and up to a $100,000 fine. One of my colleagues, a victim of domestic violence, offered an amendment to fix that and Democrats rejected it.
“Democrats say there is an exemption for hunting in the bill, but it’s written so vaguely that if you want to loan your gun to a hunting buddy, you might need to bring along your attorney to find out if loaning a shotgun to your friend makes you a criminal. These are law-abiding citizens.
“Americans use firearms for self-defense. That is the basis of the Second Amendment. Our Founding Fathers believed every American had a right to defend themselves. Every day, on average, in this country guns are used by good people to defend themselves against bad people and H.R. 8 is going to make it harder for them to get access to these guns.
“This is a bad gun control bill that does nothing but criminalize law-abiding citizens.”