The Texas lawmaker who vowed to protect his state from gun control measures enacted by President Barack Obama had a fiery clash with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Wednesday over the issue of background checks.
Steve Toth, who said he plans to introduce the “Firearms Protection Act” banning federal gun bans, said Texas is going to ensure that “we follow the United States Constitution.
“If this government infringes on our Second Amendment right which gives us the right not only to bear arms but tells the government, the federal government, not to create any laws that infringes on those rights, we will do everything we can to push back against that,” Toth said.
Blitzer asked Toth whether he was talking about a possible effort to secede from the United States, to which Toth answered no. “I’m pretty sure that’s not what this discussion is about,” Toth said.
Instead, he brought up the New York firefighters shot to death while responding to a fire on Christmas Eve by a man previously convicted of murdering his grandmother with a hammer.
“If we want to get serious about limiting violent crime in America we’ve got to look at mental health issues and we’ve got to look at punish people who commit violent crimes and when they commit violent crimes they’ve got to go to jail and stay in jail,” Toth said. “Let’s get serious about this.”
When Toth said Republicans have for years called for instant background checks, Blitzer asked the representative if he supports universal background checks on all gun transactions.
“No I don’t,” Toth said. “At gun shows, online…we’ve got the technology online, because if I want to sell a gun — ”
“What if some crazy guy…wants to go to a gun show?” Blitzer said. “He can go buy a gun.”
“First off, that hasn’t happened,” Toth declared. “If you look at that guy in upstate, he stole his gun.”
“But he could, technically, if there’s no background check, if he had a criminal record, he can go to a gun show and he can buy a gun without a background check,” Blitzer said. “Technically, that’s obviously possible.”
Toth said we should “stop dealing with the hypothetical and start dealing with reality,” but Blitzer continued to press the point.
“Right now, you can be on the no-fly list, you’re not allowed to board a plane, but you can go to a gun show and buy a gun. Is there a contradiction there?”
“Wolf, show me one — one time one of these criminals has gone to a gun show and committed a crime,” Toth said.