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June 19, 2024

NSSF PROFILE Q&A: U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.)

Editor’s Note: We are pleased to post the latest of our occasional Q&A features with an elected official who supports hunting and the shooting sports. NSSF thanks U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) for speaking with us about his staunch support for the Second Amendment and the importance of the firearm and ammunition industry. Rep. Scalise represents the First District in Louisiana and is serving in his eighth term in Congress. Rep. Scalise currently serves as the Majority Leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Number 2 leadership position within the House Republican Conference. In addition to his leadership positions, Majority Leader Scalise is also a member of the House Second Amendment Task Force and the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus. We thank Majority Leader Scalise for speaking with us.

1) Who introduced you to hunting and the shooting sports?

My dad really got me interested in hunting. He took me deer hunting and it was something we would do together as father and son. It was really a lot of fun when I was younger, and I’ve carried on that tradition with my son and take him hunting often. It’s just a great family tradition.

2) What was your most recent shooting sports/hunting experience?

Just a few months ago, I went duck hunting with my son, Harrison. He’s gotten to be an avid hunter, and he’s a great shot, so he likes going out hunting. I’ve made sure to teach him the things that are important for gun safety. But also, he really is a great champion of the industry and cares about the resources.

Scalise Duck Hunting with Son
U.S. Rep. Scalise duck hunting with son, Harrison.

3) Describe your favorite shooting sports or hunting activity.

It’s really just going out hunting with my son. It’s a great way for us to bond. We have a lot of fun together, as we both enjoy deer hunting and duck hunting. You know, it’s not easy to find somebody who wants to get up at five o’clock in the morning and go out and sit in a cold duck blind for a few hours, but it’s actually something we enjoy doing together.

And deer hunting is very similar – we spend a few hours together. He shot his own deer, and we mounted the deer for him and he takes great pride in that. He also shot an alligator, by the way. That’s a unique experience in South Louisiana and we have a lot of fun with that, as well.

4) Which piece of pending legislation in Congress related to the conservation, hunting and the firearm industry is particularly important to you and why?

In general, any legislation preserving the Second Amendment is important to me. I don’t think people realize how many attacks we face every year on our Second Amendment rights from people that want to take away our ability to buy and own handguns and firearms, rifles, any kind of a sporting firearm. Our Second Amendment rights are constantly under attack by policymakers in Washington and by President Biden himself.

And so I’ve brought pieces of legislation forward myself – I have a bill that makes commonsense reforms to firearm purchases (H.R. 8364, the Firearm Interstate Commerce Act). Right now, a person in one state can buy a rifle or a shotgun from a licensed firearm dealer in another state, if the sale is legal in both states, but they can’t buy a handgun from that same person. This is an arbitrary barrier to citizens’ Second Amendment rights, and we should update our laws to remove that barrier.

We need to make it easier for people to exercise their Second Amendment rights. It’s something that should be a basic understood right, but it’s under attack all the time.

5) What do you see as the challenges and opportunities in Congress for hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts?

It’s important we make sure that we pass these traditions on to the next generation. A lot of the great traditions tied to hunting come from parents getting their kids, whether it’s sons or daughters, involved and getting them interested at a young age. Because if you’re not doing that, there’s so many other distractions: video games, social media, things that kids can do that take them away from communicating with other people or interacting with their parents or their friends. Hunting is such a great bonding experience that provides that face-to-face offline socialization and quality time, and it’s lost if you don’t hand it down to the next generation.

So, I think all of us that enjoy hunting and sport shooting in the great outdoors need to make sure we’re passing it on to the next generation so they don’t let other things preoccupy their time and allow this great tradition to go away.

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