Above all else, my duty as an elected official and a member of Congress is to uphold and protect the Constitution. That is why I strongly opposed the two gun control bills that Democrats pushed through the House of Representatives this week. These bills directly limit Americans’ constitutional right to bear arms as specified in the Second Amendment.

First, the House passed the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021. This misleadingly named bill would criminalize the common exchanges of firearms such as a parent gifting a gun to their child or a homeowner lending a gun to his neighbor to protect his cattle against wolves. Even worse, this bill would effectively create a national firearm registry. Such a registry is a dramatic government overreach that would infringe on the rights of every American and set a dangerous precedent.

Next, the House passed the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 which would slow the background check process to a near standstill. If the FBI has still not completed an applicant’s background check after 10 days, the applicant must prove their innocence in order to receive a license. What could possibly be more un-American than proving your innocence in order to utilize your Constitutional right?

Guns do not hurt people. People hurt people. These bills will do nothing to prevent gun crime, but will instead punish law abiding citizens. The Constitution clearly states our right to bear arms, and that is a right I will continue to fight for every day in Congress.

Bruce Westerman is a Congressman representing the 4th District of Arkansas. He is a Republican.