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 ScaliseTexas man with politician hit list, illegally 3D printed rifle sentenced to eight years The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine - Will there be any last-minute shutdown drama? Dems escalate gun fight a year after Parkland 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 CollinsHouse panel advances bill to expand background checks for gun sales House lawmakers roll out bill to make court records free Jewish advocacy group calls on Omar to apologize after 'stunningly anti-Semitic' tweet 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) GaetzHouse passes border deal, setting up Trump to declare emergency Parkland parents create anti-gun violence Valentine’s Day candies: ‘Don’t shoot,’ ‘he’s gone’ House conservatives blast border deal, push Trump to use executive power MORE (R-Fla.), who asked that the man be removed from the room.

-Updated 7:20 p.m.