State Watch

Texas GOP rebukes Cornyn, rejects gun legislation framework

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) arrives at the Capitol
Associated Press/J. Scott Applewhite
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) arrives to meet with Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) arrive for more bipartisan talks on how to rein in gun violence, at the Capitol in Washington on June 15, 2022.

The Texas Republican Party rebuked one of the state’s sitting Republican senators over the weekend for his support of a bipartisan agreement on gun-related legislation.

The Texas GOP adopted the measure as part of its 40-page party platform approved at the state party’s biennial convention in Houston, which concluded this weekend.

“Whereas all gun control is a violation of the Second Amendment and our God-given rights, we reject the so-called ‘bipartisan gun agreement,’ and we rebuke [Sen.] John Cornyn (R-Texas),” the platform reads.

James Wesolek, the Texas GOP’s communications director, told The Hill that the resolution passed by voice vote.

Cornyn has led the Republican side of negotiations as senators look to find common ground on gun-related legislation in the wake of high-profile mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, N.Y.

The Hill has reached out to Cornyn’s office for comment.

The Texas GOP also rebuked eight other Republican senators who signed the recent statement agreeing to nine gun-related principles but did not include Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.). Burr’s omission was “most likely accidental,” Wesolek told The Hill.

The bipartisan group of 20 senators — 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats — announced an agreement on nine principles for the potential legislation, including funding for school mental health and safety programs and reviews of juvenile records for gun purchasers under the age of 21.

Negotiators have been working in recent days to convert the principles into legislative text, but failed to meet a goal of reaching an agreement by last Thursday. The Senate returns on Tuesday.

Disagreements have arisen largely over the closing of the “boyfriend loophole,” which would bar intimate or romantic partners convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse claims from possessing firearms. 

Negotiators have debated the definition of an intimate or romantic partner as well as whether partners should have a pathway to regaining their gun ownership rights after a period of time.

The Texas GOP’s platform also takes aim at some of the agreement’s specific provisions. 

The legislation would send funds to states that could be used for red flag laws, which allow people to petition a court to keep guns out of the hands of people deemed dangerous to the community or themselves. 

That principle has been another point of contention in the negotiations, and some Republicans have raised due process concerns over red flag legislation. 

“‘Red flag laws’ violate one’s right to due process and are a pre-crime punishment of people not adjudicated guilty,” the Texas GOP platform reads.

Cornyn spoke on the Senate floor on Tuesday to stress that the legislation would not create a national red flag law, adding that states could receive the funding regardless of whether they enact such a program.

The platform also condemns waiting periods on gun purchases, which is not included as part of the bipartisan agreement.

Tags Cornyn GOP Gun control gun control legislation John Cornyn John Cornyn Richard Burr Texas Texas GOP

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