They served in Congress together, he is a Republican congressman from Louisiana, she was a Democratic congresswoman from Arizona.
Scalise and Giffords held separate back to back press conferences on Tuesday on The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 or H.R. 8 which seeks to require a background check for every firearm sale.
Giffords was shot in the head in 2011 during a public event in her district. She was left critically injured in the attack which left six people dead and 19 people injured.
Scalise was at baseball practice for the Congressional Baseball game in Virginia in 2017, when he was shot and critically wounded. Three others were injured in the shooting.
The White House says that President Donald Trump will veto the bill if it reaches his desk. And according to the White House, any bill that requires a background check for firearm purchases and private transfers doesn’t allow for an individual to have the right to keep arms.
On Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told a crowd in New York “this gun violence issue is a national health epidemic in our country.” The House Speaker jabbed President Trump’s national emergency at the border saying “Mr. President if you want to talk about emergencies this is an emergency.” The House is expected to vote on the bill on Wednesday.
Giffords, who is a gun owner spoke at a press conference on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, where she said: “stopping gun violence takes courage.” Since the 2011 shooting Giffords has vowed to continue to fight for gun control and urged members of Congress on both sides to be responsible to “be bold, be courageous.”
She told lawmakers on both sides of the aisle “the nation is counting on you.”
Minority Whip Steve Scalise slammed the bill saying it punishes gun owners who try to however on saying that the gun control “bill’s Pelosi is calling for will turn law abiding citizens into criminals.” He says “it’s one more step towards federals gun registration and ultimately gun confiscation."
During the press conference, Scalise voiced frustration from being unable to testify at a recent gun violence hearing in House Judiciary Committee. “They didn’t want me to testify before the judiciary committee when Doug Collins tried to have me included in that panel. Because I wasn’t going to spread their messages of gun control, in fact, I was going to counter it,” Scalise said.
The bill is expected to be voted on some time later this week.