U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) today held a press conference discussing the importance of defending the Second Amendment in the wake of calls for increased gun control at the federal level. He spoke at LaRue Tactical, a nationally-renowned gun manufacturer located outside of Austin.
"Evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that when the rights of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves, their homes and their families are taken away, that violent crime increases and citizens are left more vulnerable to violent criminals," said Sen. Cruz. "The Supreme Court made absolutely clear that the Second Amendment is a constitutional right of every American and constitutional rights are designed to be protected not just when they're popular, but especially when passions are high among those seeking to restrict and limit those rights. While we should use every available means to deter and to punish mass murderers, the federal government should not be trying to ban gun ownership for law-abiding Americans."
As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Sen. Cruz has led the charge to ensure that Americans' Second Amendment rights are not stifled by ongoing calls for increased gun control in the wake of the terrible shootings in Newtown. That tragedy was a shocking display of evil, but stricter gun control would not have prevented it, nor will keep it from happening again. It would only restrict the constitutional rights of Americans that respect and follow the law.
Evidence already shows that an assault weapons ban is ineffective, as concluded by the Department of Justice when the ban was implemented 1994-2004 and it had no impact on reducing crime. Instead of passing legislation already proven ineffective, Sen. Cruz has called for action to rather deter and punish violent criminals and to prevent those with dangerous mental illness from illegally acquiring firearms.
There is wide agreement that guns should not be in the hands of the mentally ill, and current law seeks to identify those individuals, but it relies on states submitting relevant medical records. Not all states are doing this and reports show that the federal government is not enforcing or implementing a law that is supposed to reward states for submitting mental health records and punish states that do not.
Instead of heeding calls that would trample on Americans' Second Amendment rights, efforts must be made to enforce current law and work with states to overcome challenges that prevent them from providing more robust data. This is an area of bipartisan agreement and a direct way to address the real problem of the mentally ill getting guns.