Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) was repeatedly booed and heckled while giving a speech at the Texas GOP convention on Friday, after working with Democratic lawmakers to craft new gun control legislation.
During the speech, Cornyn tried to convince the booing crowd that the gun control package he was working on was consistent with his conservative principles.
“I will not, under any circumstances, support new restrictions for law-abiding gun owners. That will always be my red line,” Cornyn told listeners. “And despite what some of you may have heard, the framework that we are working on is consistent with that red line.”
The framework in question, which was introduced earlier in the week as a “commonsense, bipartisan proposal,” includes new support for red flag laws which are aimed at seizing firearms from those who pose a threat to themselves or others. The deal also includes a revamped review process for gun buyers under 21, as well as expanded mental health resources for children.
During his speech, Cornyn argued that he had pushed back against Democrats who wanted to include even more restrictive provisions in the proposal.
“Democrats pushed for an assault weapons ban, I said no,” he told attendees. “They tried to get a new three-week mandatory waiting period for all gun purchases, I said no. Universal background checks, magazine bans, licensing requirements, the list goes on and on. And I said no, no, 1,000 times no.”
Despite Cornyn’s insistence that he was on their side, the convention crowd continued to boo for nearly the entirety of the senator’s 20 minute long speech. According to reports, audience members could be heard chanting “no red flags” and “don’t take our guns.”
In recent days, Cornyn has expressed concerns about the bipartisan framework that he has supported as lead Republican negotiator. One of the main sticking points is concern over closing the so-called “boyfriend loophole,” which currently allows convicted domestic abusers to purchase guns if they aren’t married to their dating partner. Cornyn and other Republicans worry about how exactly legislation will define a “dating partner.”
“Part of it, it’s a definitional issue,” Cornyn said about the proposal. “It already covers people who are married, people who have a child in common and people who are cohabitating.”