Scalise: Dems trying to 'silence' me on gun violence

Scalise: Dems trying to 'silence' me on gun violence
© Greg Nash

House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseRepublicans say Biden energy plan will help GOP in rust belt states GOP lawmaker: Don't believe polls showing Trump behind Biden 4 Texas GOP congressional primary runoffs to watch MORE (R-La.) on Wednesday accused the House Judiciary Committee of trying to "silence" him by not allowing his testimony at a hearing on gun violence.

“I thought it outrageous that they want to try to silence this message, because in the end I’m still going to get my message out. They can’t silence this issue,” Scalise, who suffered life-threatening injuries when he was shot in 2017, told Fox News.

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The House Judiciary Committee hearing was the first by Democrats on the issue of gun violence since they took control of the chamber this year.

Scalise told Fox News that he learned over the weekend that Democrats would not allow his testimony at the hearing, which he said was a common courtesy extended to fellow lawmakers.

At the hearing, Rep. Doug CollinsDouglas (Doug) Allen CollinsWNBA dedicating opening weekend to Black Lives Matter The Hill's Campaign Report: Is Georgia reaching a tipping point? Democrats hope for tidal moment in Georgia with two Senate seats in play MORE (R-Ga.) criticized Democratic leaders for not allowing Scalise's testimony, claiming it was because his fellow Republican is a fierce defender of gun rights.

“Just because he disagrees with the majority isn’t a reason to keep him out,” Collins said.

But House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) pushed back, arguing that the panel did not have room for all lawmakers who sought to share testimony.

“He wasn’t denied because he disagreed with majority members. We decided we had to have a hard and fast rule today or we’d be here all day with members,” Nadler explained.

The hearing was held to discuss H.R. 8, a bill named in honor of former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D- Ariz.) that would expand background checks on guns. It was introduced Tuesday, on the eighth anniversary of her shooting.

Scalise shared his testimony on Twitter and with Fox News.

“I survived a shooting and it solidified my support for a strong 2nd Amendment. House Judiciary Democrats wouldn't let me share my experience at their gun control hearing today. Liberals try to silence conservatives, but it won’t work,” he wrote on Twitter.

Tensions were high at the hearing, where the father of a Parkland school shooting victim interrupted Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzGOP lawmakers push amendment to rescind authority for troops in Afghanistan Nadler: Barr dealings with Berman came 'awfully close to bribery' Some in Congress want to keep sending our troops to Afghanistan MORE (R-Fla.), who asked that the man be removed from the room.

-Updated 7:20 p.m.