House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) deflected when confronted on Fox News Sunday over whether the GOP is “out of step” with voters on proposed gun control legislation.
After pointing out that the U.S. “far and away leads every other nation” in the developed world in terms of gun violence, Fox News anchor John Roberts pointed to polling that showed 89% of Americans support background checks for gun owners and 74% support red flag laws.
“You and other Republicans have views about background checks and red flag laws that seem to run counter to what public sentiment is,” Roberts told the Louisiana Republican. “So are the views that you and your colleagues hold out of step with where the nation is?”
Scalise argued that the questions in the poll were misleading and called red flag laws “unconstitutional.”
“Under the guise of ‘red flag,’ they take away due process,” he argued.
“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 [person] might be a threat,’” the lawmaker said.
STEVE SCALISE: Under the guise of 'red flag,' they take away due process
ROBERTS: But if that had happened in case of Buffalo shooter, 10 people would be alive today
SCALISE: Well again, due process is a constitutional right pic.twitter.com/OqkAdrckSM
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 5, 2022
In most instances nationwide, a red flag law enables law enforcement to temporarily seize firearms from individuals who are seen as a threat to themselves or other people, if given a court order to do so.
“If that had’ve happened in the case of the Buffalo shooter, ten people would be alive today,” Roberts pointed out.
“Well again, due process is a constitutional right,” Scalise answered.
His comments come amid renewed pressure on Congress to pass gun reform legislation in the wake of an alarming spate of mass shootings, including a massacre in Buffalo, New York, that left ten people dead last month and a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 kids and two teachers.
A bipartisan group of senators began discussions last week on potential gun control legislation that would likely include red flag laws and stricter background check measures for gun purchases.
Scalise is among a number of GOP lawmakers who have vehemently defended gun rights and blamed other factors for the violence. He is a victim of gun violence himself; he was struck in the hip at the 2017 congressional baseball shooting.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.