AUSTIN -- Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says he's "willing to take an arrow" and defy the National Rifle Association by pressing Texas to close one loophole in gun-purchaser background checks.
On Friday, Patrick said it's "common sense" to tighten background-check laws because in many instances, stranger-to-stranger sales now are exempt from the requirement that buyers be vetted through a federal database of people not eligible to purchase firearms.
Patrick - Transfers - Family - Members - Check
Patrick wants to protect transfers among family members from triggering a check. He'd also continue to exempt friends, though he acknowledged that could be abused. Patrick, who presides over the Texas Senate, said he's willing to accede to the preferences of senators on whether to maintain that loophole -- and if so, exactly how.
But he said Texas must strongly discourage selling guns to strangers without a background check.
Gap - Stranger - Stranger - View - Patrick
"That gap of stranger to stranger we have to close, in my view," Patrick, a staunchly conservative Republican and avid gun-rights advocate, said in an interview with The Dallas Morning News.
"When I talk to gun owners, NRA members and voters, people don't understand why we allow strangers to sell guns to total strangers when they have no idea if the person they're selling the gun to could be a felon, could be someone who's getting a gun to go commit a crime or could be a potential mass shooter or someone who has serious mental issues."
NRA - Guy - Background - Check - Stranger
"Look, I'm a solid NRA guy," he said, "but not expanding the background check to eliminate the stranger to stranger sale makes no sense to me and ... most folks."
Since mass shootings in El Paso and Midland-Odessa, Patrick has talked of wanting to require background checks of private purchasers who are strangers. In multiple interviews with Fox News and in-state conservative talk radio hosts, he has said they account for as much...
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