Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called for stronger background checks and said that gun control proposals from Democrats would not have stopped the recent mass shootings in Texas.
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“We’ve seen too damn many of these in the state of Texas. So, we need to end them, absolutely, yes,” he said on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday, after describing the time he spent with the families of mass shooting victims in Texas
“Now the question is what do we need to do that actually works. And this is where I get frustrated with Democratic politicians in Washington,” he added. “Because the proposals they’re putting forward would not have stopped a single one of these mass murders.”
He argued for the proposal he first introduced in 2013 with Sen. Chuck Grassley, which the two re-introduced in May. While it doesn’t enact universal background checks, the legislation aims to strengthen the current system by prosecuting those with a criminal history who lie on background check forms and criminalizing straw purchases.
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Mass shootings in August, two of which were in the senator’s home state of Texas, have renewed discussions around the country and on Capitol Hill about gun control.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell repeated on Tuesday that he would not advance gun control legislation that he believed President Donald Trump would veto.
Trump said there had been “a lot of progress” on background checks when speaking with reporters on Thursday after being briefed on proposed gun control measures.
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Newscom
Sen. Ted Cruz speaks during a discussion titled Interventionism vs. Isolationism at the Hudson Institute in Washington, September 3, 2019.
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However, of Democrats recent proposals on the issue, he said, “There’s a possibility that this is just a ploy to take your guns away.”
Cruz met with activist and actress Alyssa Milano, activist Ben Jackson and father of Parkland victim Fred Guttenberg on Tuesday after he and Milano got into a Twitter argument on gun control.
“When it comes to an issue like stopping gun violence, I think the two sides believe the worst of each other,” Cruz said in the meeting, which was livestreamed on Facebook. “I don’t think either of those caricatures is right. If we can start from what I think should be a shared goal — which is, act to stop gun violence and stop mass murders like this in the future — then I think we can have a reasonable conversation about what policies are most likely to produce that.”
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Cruz said there was “a very good possibility” that the Grassley-Cruz proposal could have prevented the 2017 Sutherland Springs church shooting when speaking to the Christian Science Monitor on Thursday.
However, he added that expanding background checks too far could hurt Republicans politically. “If Republicans abandon the Second Amendment and demoralize millions of Americans who care deeply about Second Amendment rights, that could go a long way to electing a President Elizabeth Warren,” Cruz said.