Rep. Markwayne Mullin
Rep. Markwayne Mullin
By U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin

WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats recently passed a bill that if signed into law, could turn law-abiding gun owners into criminals. Yes, you read that right.

H.R. 8, the “bipartisan” Background Checks Act, is an unlawful and misguided bill that criminalizes lawful gun owners while doing nothing to prevent gun violence.

The reality is 77 percent of criminals obtain firearms through illegal means. So, clamping down on law-abiding gun owners by adding red tape will do nothing to solve the problem.

H.R. 8 would impose mandatory background checks on law-abiding gun owners even if a gun is temporarily transferred to another person. If a person failed to get the background check in advance, it would trigger penalties of up to a year in prison and/or a $100,000 fine for simply handing a firearm to someone else.

For example, if you are on a hunting trip with your friend and you hand them your gun without first conducting a background check, you could be charged with a felony.

For another example, if a suicidal friend asks you to take his or her guns in order to protect themselves, you would be required to conduct a background check before being able to take possession of the firearms.

This bill is an unconstitutional power grab that only serves to appease the left-wing base, infringe on our Second Amendment rights, and make our communities less safe.

Current law already requires a background check on every commercial gun purchase in America. Additionally, federal law already prohibits the transfer of a firearm to someone not in possession of a firearms license or who is otherwise prohibited by law.

H.R. 8 does nothing to fix the loopholes in the background check system or solve the issue of gun violence in our country. Instead, it’s an attempt by House Democrats to chip away at our constitutional rights in the name of preventing tragedies. I will always fight to protect our Second Amendment rights, you have my word.

Congressman Markwayne Mullin was first elected to serve the people of Oklahoma’s Second Congressional District in November 2012. He is currently serving his fifth term in office. As one of only five Native Americans currently serving in the House, he is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation. Rep. Mullin is a former Mixed Martial Arts fighter and was inducted into the Oklahoma Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2016.