WASHINGTON D.C., DC — Throughout gun control negotiations in the nation's capital, Sen. John Cornyn has said ‘compromising American’s rights under the second amendment was a red line’ for him.
However, the ‘Bipartisan Safer Communities Act' he negotiated is the most significant gun-related legislation in decades.
Cornyn said there’s been a lot of misinformation surrounding the gun legislation as he touts the significant funding for mental health support.
"Everybody’s entitled to their opinion but you’re not entitled to your own facts," Cornyn said.
The senior Texas Senator is attempting to set the record straight regarding the controversy surrounding the bipartisan gun bill.
"The fact is that this legislation does not encroach on the right of law-abiding Texans or Americans under the 2nd Amendment," Cornyn said.
The bill enhances background checks for gun buyers up to 21 years of age, provides billions for mental health services and closes the so-called "Boyfriend loophole" to prevent convicted domestic abusers from purchasing a firearm for five years.
“Texas doesn’t have a red flag laws, that’s fine, nobody’s required to pass one. But what I wanted to make sure is, if the states that have them wanted to do additional federal grant funding in order to help administer them, maybe help to train their people to do it properly with appropriate due process,” Cornyn said.
Motivated by the mass school shooting in Uvalde, Cornyn said if this bill was in place before the shooting, something could have been done.
“If these sorts of protections had been in place beforehand, this might not have happened. We’ll never know with certainty, but we certainly want to make sure it’s less likely to happen,” he said.
Despite facing the boos of an angry Texas GOP convention crowd over the gun legislation, Cornyn said the bill was the right thing to do and does not target gun owners.
“I knew that law-abiding gun owners were not a public health problem. People with mental illness and criminals are,” he said.
The bill also provides $750 million in grants to incentivize states to start crisis intervention programs.
Sen. Cornyn says if the ‘Bipartisan Safer Communities Act’ was in place before the mass school shooting in Uvalde, it would have been less likely the shooting would’ve taken place.
“He killed animals, threatened his fellow students, he cut himself because he said he liked the way it made him feel and looked, he was crying out for help and help was not there. He ended up shooting his grandmother because she wanted him to go back to school, so it’s hard to know, but what we do know is that we have a mental health crisis in this country and too many people fall through the cracks,” he said.
The law also clarifies the definition of a federally licensed firearms dealer and creates penalties for straw purchases and gun trafficking.