Press Releases

Roe Supports the Rights of Law-Abiding Americans

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Washington, February 28, 2019 | comments

WASHINGTON D.C. – Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.) released the following statement after voting against H.R 1112, Enhanced Background Checks Act and H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019: 

“I strongly support the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms. This week, House Democrats brought two bills to the floor that they said were about preventing gun violence. I voted against these bills because they would actually limit Americans’ constitutional rights without doing anything meaningful to prevent future instances of violence like we’ve seen in past mass shootings. 

“H.R. 1112 makes an egregious change for our country’s veterans by potentially making it unlawful for anyone in the VA system with an adjudicated claim for mental illness to own a firearm. This means over 1.6 million veterans could automatically be stripped of their Second Amendment rights. The last thing I want is to discourage veterans from seeking help because they are afraid it may cost them their rights. To protect our veterans, I offered an amendment to exempt them from this bill, but the Democrats refused to let it come to the floor for a vote.

“H.R. 8 expands background checks, but fails to address the underlying causes of mass shootings. This legislation would do nothing but criminalize the actions of law-abiding citizens seeking to protect themselves, potentially including victims of domestic abuse or stalking victims. 

“We all want to reduce the amount of gun violence, but these bills will not accomplish that. We have good laws on the books. What we need is to ensure our existing gun laws are properly enforced and applied. I will continue to pursue solutions that actually reduce the amount of violence and ensure our law enforcement agencies work together to stop the actions of violent criminals.”

Note: Congressman Roe is an original cosponsor of H.R. 1339, the Mass Violence Prevention (MVP) Act introduced on February 25, 2019.  The MVP Act would establish a fusion center at the FBI to help prevent mass shootings and other tragedies by facilitating local, state and federal law enforcement coordination efforts to identify potential threats and respond promptly. This legislation would also reduce illegal sales on the black market by increasing the penalty for robbing a firearm store.

H.R. 8 passed the House by 240-190, and H.R. 1112 passed the House by 228-198.
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