Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas lambasted Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee for pushing “political solutions” to violent crime during a hearing focused on so-called “assault weapons” Wednesday.
“If the objective is, stop mass murders, gun control doesn’t work,” Cruz said during the hearing. “The state of Illinois has among the strictest gun control laws of any state in the country. Highland Park has even stricter gun control laws than the state of Illinois. Consistently if you look across the country, the jurisdiction with the strictest gun control laws almost without exception, they have the highest crime rates and the highest murder rates.” (RELATED: It Took Just Hours For Dems To Demand More Gun Control After Highland Park Shooting)
The committee’s hearing came in the aftermath of a mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, that killed seven people and wounded 24. Cruz claimed Democrats were not interested in policies that would actually stop such shootings.
“Their objective is disarm the law-abiding citizens,” Cruz said, discussing how Elisjsha Dicken stopped a mass shooter in Indiana.
Cruz criticized Democrats for voting down legislation he and Republican Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming introduced in June. The legislation had provisions that would double the number of school resource officers, provide $10 billion for mental health counselors and would require the National Institute of Justice and National Academy of Sciences to conduct studies on mass shootings and report the findings to Congress.
President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan bill into law in June that enhances some background checks, closes the so-called “boyfriend loophole” and provides funds for “red flag” laws.
“The Democrats on this committee, and every Democrat in the Senate, voted against Cruz-Barrasso,” he said. “Because a proposal that actually is devoting resources to law enforcement, to stopping the murders, to preventing the crimes, to getting murderers off the street, that is not politically advantageous.”
“Indeed, many of the Democrats on this committee would happily ban concealed handguns,” Cruz said, claiming it would have disarmed Dicken.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) estimates that the number of what it describes as “modern sporting rifles” in the United States is 24.4 million, according to a Wednesday release. NSSF spokesman Mark Oliva told the DCNF that Democrats have a “myopic focus on banning rifles” that “doesn’t address the need to prevent criminal activity and hold criminals accountable.”
“These aren’t real solutions,” Oliva said. “This is political theater.”
A spokesman for Cruz provided the Daily Caller News Foundation information on the legislation Cruz discussed in the hearing.
Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the DCNF.
This post has been updated with comments from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
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