U.S. Rep. Steve Womack voted against two House bills — H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112 — that are attempts to address gun violence and were approved by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Womack said the bills would "infringe on the Second Amendment, make criminals out of law-abiding citizens, hinder the ability of responsible Americans to protect themselves, and fail to make U.S. communities safer." 

“Trying to erode the Second Amendment rights of responsible Arkansans and Americans will not stop senseless acts of violence," Womack said in an emailed statement. "These policies won’t make anyone safer — instead, they would turn law-abiding citizens into criminals and hamper the ability of people to defend themselves. This series of legislation is another political ploy by Democrats and represents a missed opportunity to implement real solutions that prevent violence and save lives.” 

H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112, Womack adds, "do not address key aspects of mass violence, including mental illness, stopping criminals from illegally acquiring firearms and breakdowns in law enforcement information sharing."

"Republicans have worked to take meaningful action to protect communities, including passing the Fix NICS background check bill, Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act, and the STOP School Violence Act. Additionally, they have introduced the Mass Violence Prevention Act (MVP) of 2019, which would address failures in law enforcement coordination and response, reduce the flow of firearms on the black market, and increase resources to prosecute and prevent gun violence."

U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman, 4th District congressman, also voted against the bills. A video of his statement was posted Thursday at swtimes.com. While Westerman is in favor of a strong background check system, gun safety and solutions that prevent mass violence, the “Congress must address root causes of gun violence — such as mental health — and not spend time on bills that don’t solve real problems.”

H.R. 8, would require background checks for private transactions, such as purchases online and at gun shows. Currently, only federally licensed firearms dealers, importers and manufacturers are required to conduct background checks on customers under federal law. According to USA Today, 20 states and D.C. have already expanded background checks to include at least some private sales.

The other bill, H.R. 1112, would extend to at least 10 days the amount of time firearms dealers must wait for a response from the background check system before the sale can proceed. Currently, they can make the sale if they haven’t received a response in three days.