Texas Lt. Gov. says he’s going to defy NRA and work to close background check loopholes

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick promised to defy the National Rifle Association in an effort to close background check loopholes.

Patrick called the idea to tighten background check laws “common sense,” focusing primarily on private sales from stranger-to-stranger because the buyer does not need to be vetted through a federal database to determine if they’re eligible to make the purchase. One major push back from critics is this idea would force family members and friends to go through a background check when giving the firearm to someone they know. However, Patrick wants to make exemptions available.

“That gap of stranger to stranger we have to close, in my view,” Patrick said in a Friday interview with theDallas Morning News.

He went on, “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.”

The NRA pushed back on Patrick’s proposal.

“Patrick’s ‘proposals’ would resurrect the same broken, Bloomberg-funded failures that were attempted under the Obama administration,” the NRA’s lobbying arm, the Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement. “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 comments made by Patrick echo the sentiment of President Donald Trump following two mass shootings at the beginning of last month, one of which was in Patrick’s state of Texas.

“On background checks, we have tremendous support for really common sense, sensible, important background checks,”Trumptold reporters on the White House lawn on Aug. 9.

The president ultimately backed down after the NRA got involved.

“There are a lot of background checks that have been approved over the years… we do have a lot of background checks right now,” Trump said at the time.

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