WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) appeared on ‘Fox News @ Night’ with Shannon Bream, where he discussed his visit with law enforcement, first responders, victims, and family members who lost loved ones in the shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
“I spent a lot of the day visiting with the families,” Sen. Cruz said. “Visiting with victims who were shot by this madman. […] I talked with a lot of law enforcement agents today, both Texas DPS agents, Texas Rangers, FBI. Every single law enforcement agent I asked about it said that had Mr. Willeford not stepped up and engaged, and shot the shooter, that a lot more people would have been killed. And when I talked to him, I said, ‘Thank you. Thank you for the lives you saved. We may never know who’s still alive because you were willing to risk your own life to stop a deranged, lunatic, madmen who was set on mass murder.’”
Sen. Cruz noted that had federal law been enforced, this massacre could have been prevented.
“This should’ve been stopped beforehand. Under federal law, it was illegal for this individual to purchase a fire arm,” Sen. Cruz said. “He had a conviction for a crime that is punishable by more than a year in prison and he had a conviction for multiple domestic violence crimes. Both of those, it’s already ineligible. But several things happened. Number one, the Air Force, the Obama Administration, didn’t report those convictions to the NICS database. That’s an endemic problem. It’s a problem with the federal government, it’s a problem with the states. And so, when he went in to buy the guns, they ran the background check, and they didn’t find it because it wasn’t in the database.”
Sen Cruz concluded, “We could’ve prevented this. In 2013, in the wake of Sandy Hook, I joined with Chuck Grassley, we introduced legislation, that was called the Grassley-Cruz legislation. And it was aggressive legislation targeting violent criminals to stop them from getting guns. There were a couple elements of that legislation that were critical. One it mandated that federal agencies, including the Air Force, report to the NICS, because that was a problem back then. Two, and this is an even more critical piece, if it had been reported to the background database, when he went into Academy to buy these weapons, he lied on the forms. That is a felony to lie on those forms. The Obama Administration didn’t prosecute those cases. In 2010 48,000 felons and fugitives lied and illegally tried to purchase guns, they prosecuted only 44 of them.”
Watch Sen. Cruz’s full interview here.