Texas Senator John Cornyn addresses gun safety legislation after Uvalde school massacre

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Tuesday, June 28, 2022
Texas Senator John Cornyn addresses gun safety legislation
ABC13 had the first chance to interview Texas Sen. John Cornyn about the state's gun safety legislation.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Uvalde school massacre led to one of the most significant pieces of gun safety legislation in almost three decades.

The legislation helps states implement red flag laws, which removes firearms from those deemed unfit to have them.

It funds violence prevention and mental health programs and expands background checks for gun buyers under 21.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn was key in negotiating the deal.

On Tuesday, ABC13 had the first chance to interview him about it. Cornyn said he believes the bill will save lives.

"My red line was not to encroach on rights of gun owners the under second amendment. I'm a gun owner myself. I'm not a threat to public safety. Law-abiding gun owners are not a threat to public safety, but we know who is, people with mental health challenges, or criminals who should not get their hands on firearms," Cornyn said.

Cornyn also talked about being booed at the GOP convention in Houston a couple weeks ago.

He said it was disappointing, but in his words, he refuses to be canceled.

"If the FBI has three days to do a background check and 90% of the time they go through pretty quickly but in 10% of time, they need more time to figure it out. This gives an opportunity for access to state juvenile and mental health records, as well as local law enforcement to see if there's something else there, which would cause concerns," Cornyn said.

On Tuesday, the Harris County Commissioners Court approved a partnership with the city of Houston for a gun buyback program scheduled to take place on July 30 at Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church.

"There is no question there are too many guns on the streets. To incentivize the removal of stolen guns from Houston streets, the City will also fund a $1 million robust gun buyback initiative, which will reduce the likelihood of illegally obtained firearms being used in the furtherance of violent crime," the program said in a news release.