Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is accusing Sen. Ted Cruz of contradicting himself on the issue of gun control in the wake of the Texas Republican’s threatened filibuster of gun legislation, Politico reported Tuesday.
In a YouTube video posted by his aides, Cruz appears to voice his support on Jan. 6 in a Fox News interview for tougher background checks, saying one of the things that can be done to stop gun-related massacres would be to “improve the quality of the federal [background check] database.”
“Right now, a lot of states, a lot of jurisdictions, are not reporting criminal convictions, are not reporting mental-health barriers to ownership, and so the federal database is not nearly as good as it should be,” Cruz said in the interview.
The 57-second video then airs a brief MSNBC voice-over on the threat by Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul to filibuster the debate on gun control legislation, including votes on universal background checks, when the upper chamber returns from Easter recess.
Cruz, Paul, and Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah sent Reid a letter on Tuesday vowing to try to block the Senate from considering any new gun restrictions, according to Politico.
Catherine Frazier, a spokeswoman for Cruz, told Politico that Senate Democrats are “blatantly misconstruing Sen. Cruz’s record to distract from how extreme they are on gun control and how out of touch they are with the American people.”
“Sen. Cruz’s comments [to Fox News] were related to improving the existing background check system, as discussed in Judiciary hearings just a few weeks ago,“ she said.
States are legally required to report the names of people with mental illnesses to the federal gun background-check database, but they don’t always do so.
“This is completely different from liberals’ efforts to expand background checks to any individual that would seek to own a firearm,” Frazier said.
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