AUSTIN, TX (KTRE) - Speaking about the importance of defending the Constitution's Second Amendment, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said that evidence "overwhelmingly shows" that strict gun control laws result in an increase in violent crime.
In addition, Cruz pointed out that a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling upheld that Americans have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
"Evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that when the rights of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves, their homes and their families are taken away, that violent crime increases and citizens are left more vulnerable to violent criminals," Cruz said in a press release. "The Supreme Court made absolutely clear that the Second Amendment is a constitutional right of every American and constitutional rights are designed to be protected not just when they're popular, but especially when passions are high among those seeking to restrict and limit those rights."
Cruz made his remarks during a press conference held Tuesday at LaRue Tactical, a well-known gun manufacturer located outside of Austin. The press conference came in the wake of calls for increased gun control at the federal level.
"While we should use every available means to deter and to punish mass murderers, the federal government should not be trying to ban gun ownership for law-abiding Americans," Cruz said in a press release.
Earlier this week, the Democrat-controlled Colorado House of Representatives passed several gun control bills, including one that limits the size of ammunition magazines, according to the Associated Press. The ammunition restriction just barely passed in Colorado's House. The 34-31 vote came after three Democrats voted "no" with the Republicans in the Colorado House of Representatives.
"As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Sen. Cruz has led the charge to ensure that Americans' Second Amendment rights are not stifled by ongoing calls for increased gun control in the wake of the terrible shootings in Newtown," the press release stated. "That tragedy was a shocking display of evil, but stricter gun control would not have prevented it, nor will keep it from happening again. It would only restrict the constitutional rights of Americans that respect and follow the law."
The press release stated that evidence indicates an assault weapons ban would be ineffective, citing a report by the Department of Justice that said the assault weapons ban that was implemented from 1994 to 2004 had no real impact on reducing crime.
"Instead of passing legislation already proven ineffective, Sen. Cruz has called for action to rather deter and punish violent criminals and to prevent those with dangerous mental illness from illegally acquiring firearms," the press release stated. "There is wide agreement that guns should not be in the hands of the mentally ill, and current law seeks to identify those individuals, but it relies on states submitting relevant medical records."
The press release stated that not all states are doing this. In addition, the release contends that the federal government is not enforcing or implementing a law that is supposed to reward states for submitting mental health records and punish states that do not.
Instead of heeding calls that would trample on Americans' Second Amendment rights, efforts must be made to enforce current law and work with states to overcome challenges that prevent them from providing more robust data," the press release stated. "This is an area of bipartisan agreement and a direct way to address the real problem of the mentally ill getting guns."