Texas Republican Lieutenant Governor Bucks NRA on Background Checks
On Friday, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick took a stance that is rare for a Republican office-holder. Patrick went against the NRA and called for closing loopholes in background-check laws.
Patrick said it’s “common sense” to strengthen the laws around stranger-to-stranger sales of guns telling the The Dallas Morning News, “That gap of stranger to stranger we have to close, in my view.”
The lieutenant governor continued, “When I talk to gun owners, NRA members and voters, people don’t understand why we allow strangers to sell guns to total strangers when they have no idea if the person they’re selling the gun to could be a felon, could be someone who’s getting a gun to go commit a crime or could be a potential mass shooter or someone who has serious mental issues.”
Patrick went on to say that he’s “willing to take an arrow” while going against the NRA. “Look, I’m a solid NRA guy, but not expanding the background check to eliminate the stranger to stranger sale makes no sense to me and … most folks.”
Unsurprisingly, the NRA responded by claiming the lieutenant governor’s proposals are “political gambits” and compared them to what former president Barack Obama wanted to enact, saying they would “resurrect the same broken, Bloomberg-funded failures that were attempted under the Obama administration.”
The NRA’s statement went on to say, “Criminalizing private firearm transfers would require a massive, governmental gun registration scheme. Instead of trampling the freedom of law-abiding Americans, the government should focus upon actual solutions: fixing our broken mental health system, prosecuting known criminals and enforcing the existing gun laws that require follow-up whenever a prohibited person tries to buy a firearm.”
The NRA’s influence throughout the Republican party is well known, so it does take some political courage to take the position Patrick has.
“Someone in the Republican Party has to take the lead on this,” Patrick said.
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