Scalise says red flag laws are ‘unconstitutional’
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) on Sunday said he does not support legislation on red flag laws, calling them “unconstitutional” and a non-solution to a broader debate on how to curb gun violence.
Scalise told “Fox News Sunday” host John Roberts that red flag laws, implemented in 19 states across the U.S., are unconstitutional because authorities violate a Second Amendment right to bear arms when they seize firearms from an individual a court deems is a threat.
“They literally come into your house and take away your gun without you even knowing that there was some kind of proceeding where somebody said, ‘Oh, I think that gun might be a threat,'” the lawmaker said. “Maybe somebody thought taking away a gun from a 19 year old is going to solve a problem. It happens to be unconstitutional.”
A bipartisan group of senators began meeting last week to draft potential legislation in the hopes of addressing an alarming rise in mass shootings this year, including a gunman who killed 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, last month.
Legislation on a national red flag law system, as well as universal background checks, are among the potential bipartisan solutions lawmakers could pass to fight back against gun violence. Polls show a majority of Americans supports such measures.
But Scalise joins a number of conservative GOP lawmakers and ardent Second Amendment defenders who disagree with red flag laws and who say mental health and other societal ills should be a priority in combating gun violence.
“Focus on the root cause of the problem,” Scalise told Roberts on Sunday. “Any immediate visceral reaction of Democrats in Washington is to go after the rights of gun owners in America — law abiding citizens using guns to defend themselves.”
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