Steve Scalise, R-La
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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By Matt Manda

“The Stakes Have Never Been Higher.”

Nearly three years ago, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) survived an attack by a deranged criminal misusing a firearm. That horrific event shocked the nation. For the Louisiana Congressman, though, it steeled his resolve.

This next election is crucial for the firearm industry and Second Amendment rights. “The stakes have never been higher,” Congressman Scalise warned.

The seven-term Republican U.S. Representative from Louisiana was previously recognized as the 2018 NSSF Legislator of the Year and joined NSSF’s Larry Keane for an NSSF Political Action Committee virtual town hall. The two spoke about Whip Scalise’s strongly-held belief in the right to keep and bear arms and his legislative successes both in the Louisiana state legislature and Congress. Whip Scalise even told the story of his 11-year old son shooting his first alligator and bagging his first buck. It was a proud moment for Scalise to see his son harvest a 10-pointer, and it nearly brought him to tears sharing the proud memory.

As a father, Scalise thanked industry participants for those experiences, praising “All the things y’all fight for and promote it’s so we can pass it on to the next generation.”

Long Track Record

Keane asked Whip Scalise about his background as a legislator fighting for the Second Amendment. His successes go back to his days in the Louisiana state legislature. The first bill he worked on in 1999 was in response to the City of New Orleans filing the first municipal lawsuit against the firearm industry. The city wanted to hold gun manufacturers liable for the criminal actions of individuals. Then a state legislator, Whip Scalise wasn’t standing for it.

“It would’ve been crazy. It’d be like holding a car maker responsible if someone used a car to commit a crime,” he said.

Charlton Heston even testified in favor of the bill in Baton Rouge. The bill was passed, but was challenged in the courts before reaching the U.S. Supreme Court, ultimately being upheld. That legislation was the foundation for the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, signed into law by President George W. Bush. That law is what protects the industry from frivolous lawsuits.

“My mom never cared about any bill I brought forward until she heard Charlton Heston was going to come and sit next to me,” Whip Scalise joked.

His Second Amendment bona fides have been unquestionable since, including in Congress with his introduction of the Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act and his support of two NSSF-priority bills. The first is the  Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act which would treat a state-issued concealed carry permit in the same manner as a driver license and eliminate the patchwork of legal pitfalls for law-abiding gun owners.

The other is and the Hearing Protection Act, which would simplify the process to purchase suppressors, making buying the firearm accessory available with the same background check as a firearm, instead the cumbersome and lengthy process in place now.

Backdoor Industry Attacks

Whip Scalise spoke of the importance of legislative action to protect gun rights. Vigilance is key. He warned that while antigun factions aren’t winning at the polls or in legislatures, they are continuing their attacks on Americans’ Second Amendment rights through the courts.

“It’s one more attempt for them to go after the Second Amendment in a backdoor way because they couldn’t get it straight up through votes, so they would try to go through the courts and bankrupt the industry,” he explained. “It’s why we’ve always got to keep our guard up.”

Keane and Whip Scalise delved into the pressure brought by financial institutions against lawful businesses. Banks and payment processors are imposing corporate policies to discriminate against constitutionally protected industries. They’re imposing their own policies through unaccountable boardroom executives instead of through elected officials who must explain their decisions to voters. Worse off, they’re doing this while enjoying taxpayer-funded protections. They’re literally using taxpayer funds to institute a corporate-run discrimination scheme to choke off firearm businesses.

Whip Scalise emphasized that this is a leading legislative priority, along with funding increases for the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check Systems (NICS) to keep pace with the record background checks from an historic surge in firearm purchases. He explained that priority is shared House Republicans the Republican-controlled Senate. With Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in control, he’s keeping a watchful and cautious eye on the legislative calendar.

Media Dumbfounded

Whip Scalise told participants that the media couldn’t believe after he had survived the attack on his life, that he didn’t support more gun control. He voiced a strong message back, stating why the Second Amendment now is more important to him than ever.

“My political views don’t change because they’re not something that you stick your finger in the air,” he explained, thanking and crediting Capitol Hill Police for their unwavering commitment under fire that fateful day. “These are rooted in my core beliefs in what the Constitution means. The bottom line is I wouldn’t be here today without people with guns to counter the shooter.”

Whip Scalise’s determination runs deep on the issue. It’s why he’s working hard to ensure the House of Representatives flips in November back to control by supporters of lawful firearm ownership and use. From his perspective, the threat to fundamental American rights is real. Scalise warned, “Boy the stakes have never been higher.”

NSSF is invested in ensuring voters know what’s at stake in November. NSSF launched the #GUNVOTE online resource to ensure voters, especially new first-time gun buyers, are informed and recognize the consequences elections will have on their gun rights in the future.


Matt Manda is Manager, Public Affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation

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  1. “Whip Scalise told participants that the media couldn’t believe after he had survived the attack on his life, that he didn’t support more gun control.”

    I remember that, in the WaPo at the time, in the comment section.

    Something along the lines of “I bet he’ll vote for gun control now!”

    They truly live in in an alternate reality. And that scares the hell out of me…

    • The quote below by Rep Scalise is what the left does not accept. It seems that they(the left) would rather a person be a fatal statistic than a surviving victim! Here’s the quote, “The bottom line is I wouldn’t be here today without people with guns to counter the shooter.”

  2. One of the few good congresscritters…meanwhile the pink shirt couple in St. Louis is

    getting multiple death threats. And the local 5-O,gubmint and security companies are pointedly telling them “you’re on your own!” via Tucker. I guess we’ll see😩😖😟

    • Hope they have plenty of mags and ammo. A couple dozen claymores would probably be useful also.

      • That or a dozen real close friends who are just a bit more tactics/security savvy.

        • Maybe some like minded people in their area could get a group together to stand watch at their home.

        • Again representative of the 2 nd. amendment, the militia.

          “Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves?  “Tench Coxe”

  3. Criminals break gun laws as much as they like and still have guns. You and I can only break gun laws once and its bye bye guns and ammo. Democrats, BLM the group, Antifa thugs are obviously all are working together creating situations to take your guns, ammo and purchasing rights away. What presently happens after a gun is discharged or sometimes even shown in a self-defense situation? They arrest you and take your firearms away. Let’s say your only accused of “brandishing a gun” and you go to trial and get prosecuted unfairly. Will we be now denied on all future background checks by the actions of the new Democrat politically woke police departments? Good cops are leaving in droves and this is their plan. Corrupt mayors, corrupt District Attorneys are already in place in many cities. Your now deemed a felon, red flag issue or a threat very easily these days. If someone dares to use a gun for self defense permenant infringement seems to be just around the corner unless your a violent BLM, Antifa protester of course. What happens after repeated self-defense situations begin to occur like they are happening right now? Their goal is to get us to use our guns once then take our rights away. More needs to be said for who’s going to protect people after a self-defense situation occurs or our great 2nd Amendment becomes obsolete in practice. Police are now gone, your gun has already been used once and now will be taken away until the court case is settled. These mobs are repeatedly causing problems and their not going away.

  4. IMHO A common Sense gun law would be to accept the second Amendment as a citizen’s right to own and Bear arms.
    Now as to red flag law’s. If you want to break into some one’s home for criminal act; what better way to insure that they don’t a gun then to file a red flag report on them?

    • How will a red flag law “insure” they don’t have a gun? A criminal of that nature will simply steal, possibly harming an innocent in the process, or buy another gun illegally/via straw purchase if they want one and making sure it is in/at a place it can’t be found during a search. The police catch criminals all the time with guns that they are not supposed to have to the point it is a joke in Crook County where they often are so lenient on them due to SJW state’s attorney Kim Foxx.

      • Red Flag Laws operate on the same principle as other Magical Thinking Laws.

        For example, having one’s drivers’ license revoked positively precludes one from driving. Having no liability insurance does the same. Not being able to pass a ‘background check’ makes it impossible to obtain a firearm. Registering a gun makes it easy to track down murderers, and also prevents murder. Criminals will never use a gun to commit a crime because the punishment for doing so is so severe. Outlawing ‘high-capacity’ magazines will make mass murderers murder slightly smaller masses.

        I’m sure that you can come up with a few more.

        • Yep, and easy peasy taping “Gun Free Safe Zone” signs on the doors of a school insures there will never be a mass shooting there rather.

      • Grumpster,
        He means that the criminals will use the red flag laws to have the police to disarm their victims ahead of time.
        After you call in the red flag complaint on your ex-wife and her new boyfriend, you can go over there knowing there are no guns in their house

  5. It’s incredibly simple and equally frustrating.

    There are people who believe that human behavior is strongly ruled by the things they hold in their hands.

    There are people who believe that human behavior is strongly ruled by the content of their character.

    Guess which group counts Hoplophobia among its common ailments….

  6. Mudbugs taste just like crawdads to me. I need a gunm because the coons are a real bitch about eating crawdads , them Herons get scared and squak away when I buck up to them. Then you’ve got them little Gators to contend with too, yup more gunms.

    • Good to see you again, Marsupial One, I wondered where you wandered off to… 🙂

  7. Good news is the pos who tried to murder Scalise was shot dead. Bad news is there is always some pos to take his place…be prepared.

    • Agreed. It’s the reason why “That horrific event shocked the nation.” is such a ridiculous thing to say. Who was shocked? The nation? Hardly.

      If he can take all this and keep support of the 2A then I’m proud of him. I just don’t trust politicians any further than I can throw them. I do consider this election cycle to be of extreme importance though.

    • My right to protect myself by any means necessary was issued the second a neanderthal realized a pointy stick would provide food, clothing, shelter and protect him and his family from being lunch for various predators. Of course, there is that god given thing but I’m not a believer so I’ll stick with Mr. Neanderthal.

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