FederalGunsPaxton Criticizes Cornyn, Says Texas ‘Will Be the First to Sue’ if Congress ‘Limits the Second Amendment’

The two Texas officials are sparring once again, this time over gun reforms floated in Washington D.C.
June 6, 2022
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton took aim at the state’s senior U.S. senator, John Cornyn (R-TX), last week over potential federal gun legislation.

Paxton told radio host Chris Salcedo, “It’s a disappointment to me that our own Texas senator would even consider doing anything to limit the Second Amendment.”

“If they try to do it, we’ll be the first to sue them and claim our Second Amendment Rights.”

After the Uvalde shooting, Cornyn said that gun reform discussions with Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) “had new urgency.” Almost exactly a year ago, similar discussions between the pair over increased background checks dissipated when an agreement couldn’t be reached.

On the Senate floor last month, Cornyn lauded the Fix NICS Act of 2017 that the Senate passed to plug holes in the federal background check system — the likes of which allowed the Sutherland Springs shooter to purchase a weapon because the U.S. Air Force did not report his assault conviction to the FBI.

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National conservative talk show host Joe Pagliarulo said on June 1 that he’d been told Cornyn “is open to making gun laws more restrictive” — to which the senator replied, “Not gonna happen.”

Politico reported on Monday that Cornyn and Murphy — along with Sens. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) — are in discussions over gun reform. Items on the table include enhanced background checks, a waiting period for adults aged 18 to 21, school safety measures, and mental health funding. They’re also reportedly considering a federal facilitation of state red flag laws.

Nothing is finalized yet.

But Paxton takes issue with Cornyn’s involvement in these discussions to begin with. “I’m not going to let them get away with it. I don’t care whether it’s the GOP senator from Texas, or who it is — we cannot let Cornyn or Mitch McConnell do this,” Paxton said.

He then attributed Cornyn’s involvement in the talks to “getting caught up in the D.C. political power struggle.”

This feud isn’t new. Last month just before the runoff election, Cornyn lambasted Paxton over the various legal proceedings plaguing the Texas attorney general, including allegations of abuse of office by a handful of former top aides.

In addition to the lawsuit threat, Paxton told Salcedo, “I would say, you have to speak out in every possible way and criticize this attempt by John Cornyn, Mitch McConnell, anybody — I don’t care which party they’re from.”

At the state level, some legislators have called on Governor Greg Abbott to order a special session to pass responsive legislation to the Uvalde shooting.

Nothing legislative has happened yet either at the state or federal level, but passions are still peaking after last month’s tragedy.


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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.