Rep. Cornyn Expresses Betrayal Over Background Check Bill

( – Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, said he feels betrayed by President Joe Biden regarding legislation he claims the Biden administration pushed beyond its intended purpose. Cornyn along with Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Chris Murphy (D-CT), and Krysten Sinema (I-AZ) helped negotiate the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) in 2022 following a mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, TX that killed 19 children and two teachers.

Cornyn said the Biden administration has changed the wording in the bill to broaden the scope of sellers required to run background checks on firearms sales. Last year, following a mass shooting in California, Biden directed the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to change the definition of who qualifies as a firearms dealer. The new rule was officially adopted last month and specifies that any individual who sells guns “predominantly to earn a profit” must obtain a federal license and perform background checks even if the guns are being sold online or at gun shows.

The deputy director of the White House Office of Gun Violence, Rob Wilcox, said the law will still protect legitimate “hobbyists” and personal collectors who aren’t trying to make money buying and selling guns.

Cornyn and Tillis both objected when the new rule was proposed last year and sent a joint letter explaining the new measure would surpass the intentions of the law. The senators have now issued a joint statement declaring the new rule is “unconstitutional” and not based on the BSCA. The letter states the purpose of the BSCA was to clarify that if an individual has a regular job but also operates a business selling firearms they should register for a dealer’s license but was never intended to encroach on the right of citizens to sell belongings without a license.

Cornyn introduced a Congressional Review Act joint resolution of disapproval on Wednesday, May 15th. Forty-one Senate Republicans are backing the joint resolution to stop the new rule.

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