EXCLUSIVE: Gun Owners Of America Comes Out Swinging Against John Cornyn After He Announced Bid For Senate Leader

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Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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Gun Owners Of America (GOA) shared their concerns Thursday with Republican Texas Sen. John Cornyn after he announced his intention to run for Senate Republican Leader, just one day after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would be stepping down as leader in November.

In an exclusive phone call with the Daily Caller, Aidan Johnston, the Director of Federal Affairs for GOA, said Cornyn is not a Conservative pro-gun leader, mentioning pieces of legislation that Cornyn has supported in the past, which Johnston described as gun control.

“The United States Senate deserves a conservative pro-gun leader, and John Cornyn is not that person, it seems. I’ll say every time a gun issue comes up: He’s right there with a compromise. And that’s not leadership. That’s just capitulation to gun control. Americans deserve someone who will refuse to compromise with their God-given Second Amendment rights. And unfortunately, John Cornyn is, always, always, always cutting deals with our Second Amendment,” Johnston told the Caller.

Tunis Lopez, owner of EDC TX gun store puts on his firearm as the first customer of the day arrives on Wednesday August 02, 2023 in New Braunfels, TX. Guns are a daily way of life for many Texans. (Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

“I mean, as far back as, 2007-2008 John Cornyn was not standing up to object to gun control when the Veterans Disarmament Act passed, otherwise known as the NICs Improvement Amendment Act. But then you’ve got the Fix NICs Act, the followed successor to that 2008 bill,” Johnston continued. “The Fix NICs Act, which passed in 2017-2018. And that bill was supposed to only pass coupled with concealed carry reciprocity, but it was squishy Republicans in Congress that let the two bills be separated, and they passed the gun control and not concealed carry.” (RELATED: Sen. John Cornyn Announces Intention To Run For GOP Leader)

He then slammed Cornyn over the Safer Communities Act, which he cosponsored with Democratic Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy. The compromise package was negotiated between Cornyn and Murphy in the Summer of 2022 and created an “enhanced background check” for adults under 21. The bill also expanded the definition of who is a gun dealer and thereby required to conduct a background check. Under that new system, one single gun sale in a calendar year could lead to people having to get licensed as a dealer and having to conduct background checks.

“But I do think that the bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which John Cornyn is the co-author with Senator Murphy, it was an omnibus gun control, this is the biggest gun control that has passed Congress in decades. Like we’re talking funding for Red flag gun confiscation laws, which, by the way, have been used in a scandal to bribe pro-gun states without red flag laws into enacting them. We’re talking about a de facto wait period for 18- to 20-year-old adults before they can purchase a firearm and it opened the door, which we warned him [Cornyn] about, to backdoor universal background checks. And now the ATF is initiating a rule to institute background checks without a new law,” he added. “Well, we warned Congress, we warned, John Cornyn, about all these consequences of the bipartisan Safer Communities Act that said he supported that bill anyway and now gun owners are living under the consequences of that. This is not the time to take someone who compromised with our Second Amendment and put them in charge of the Republican Party, whose platform claims to defend the Second Amendment.” (RELATED: Mitch McConnell Will Step Down As Senate Republican Leader In November)

McConnell said he will serve out his Senate term, which ends in January 2027, “albeit from a different seat in the chamber.”

Meanwhile, Cornyn spoke with former President Donald Trump on Wednesday and has started calling individual GOP senators for their support.

The Caller contacted Cornyn’s office about GOA’s opposition to him as leader, to which they did not immediately respond.