Texas shooting reignites gun reform debate. This is where NC lawmakers stand on the issue

(William Luther/The San Antonio Express-News via AP) /WILLIAM LUTHER AP
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The debate surrounding gun reform in America has reignited following a deadly shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas that left 21 dead, including 19 children and two adults, according to most recent reports.

As the nation grieves, North Carolina lawmakers are weighing in on their support for strict reform.

Using information gathered through public statements and voting records, here’s how North Carolina state representatives acted on gun reform proposals.

Sen. Thom Tillis (R)

Moderately supports improved background and mental health checks but is strongly against the banning of firearms. In the hours after the Texas school shooting, Tillis reportedly cautioned Democrats against having a “reflexive reaction” by trying to pass laws that would impinge on Second Amendment rights.

Sen. Richard Burr (R)

Strongly against gun law reform and amendments and has a history of voting against legislation such as the Child Safety Lock Amendment. Burr in 2016 voted against a proposal by California Sen. Dianne Feinstein that would authorize the Attorney General to deny the transfer of a firearm to a known or suspected terrorist.

G. K. Butterfield (D- 1st Congressional District)

Butterfield has historically supported gun law reform and amendments and has a history of co-sponsoring and voting in favor of enhanced background checks. He also backs the prohibition of concealed carry weapons taken across state lines.

Deborah K. Ross (D-2nd Congressional District)

Ross has supported gun reform and voted in support of enhanced background checks and the prohibition of concealed carry weapons taken across state lines.

Ross in February sent a letter with 45 other lawmakers to Attorney General Merrick Garland urging the Department of Justice to strengthen the effectiveness of federal and state domestic violence laws that prohibit the possession of firearms by domestic abusers.

Greg Murphy (R-3rd Congressional District)

Murphy has often voted against reforms on legislation to enhanced background checks. He voted “yes” on HB 174 sponsored by then-Republican state representative Rena Turner which authorizes concealed handguns to be present at church services held on a school campus if school is not in session.

David Price (D-4th Congressional District)

Price has routinely supported banning assault weapons, favors red flag laws, and has a history of co-sponsoring and voting in support of enhanced background checks. The senior member of the House Appropriations Committee in 2021 requested $250,000 be invested in a gun violence intervention program.

“It’s abundantly clear that our nation’s gun violence epidemic must be met with systemic public health solutions,” Price said at the time. “This federal investment would further the inclusive community model that works to mitigate conflict before violence occurs.”

Virginia Foxx (R-5th Congressional District)

Foxx has previously voted against legislation pertaining to enhanced background checks and in favor of legislation that would authorize individuals to take concealed carry weapons across state lines. She criticized President Joe Biden for moving forward with executive actions to address gun violence.

“The actions are completely misguided,” Foxx said. “Instead of proposing legislation for states to curtail gun ownership and infringe on due process and Second Amendment rights, he should be encouraging states to enforce their laws and prosecute violent criminals to the fullest extent of the law.”

Kathy Manning (D-6th Congressional District)

Manning has supported gun reform and has co-sponsored bills such as House Bill 1146, authored by South Carolina Democratic Sen. James Clyburn, in support of enhanced background checks. Manning also voted in favor of H.R. 8, which called for universal background checks on all gun sales, and H.R. 1446 which would close the “Charleston loophole.”

David Rouzer (R-7th Congressional District)

Rouzer does not support reforms and has voted against legislation pertaining to enhanced background checks. Rouzer, though, has supported proposals that would authorize gun owners to take concealed weapons across state lines. He was criticized for voting against the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021, a bill that would require a 10-day waiting period for someone attempting to purchase a gun.

Richard Hudson (R-8th Congressional District)

Hudson has previously stated that he opposes red flag laws as a solution to the national gun violence crisis and supports enhanced mental health systems instead.

“While some people believe more gun control is the only solution, the truth is gun violence is a complicated problem that requires comprehensive solutions,” Hudson wrote on his website. “We must close loopholes in background checks, make our schools safer, and help law enforcement with better training and coordination.”

Dan Bishop (R-9th Congressional District)

Bishop has voted against gun reform and legislation to enhanced background checks to own firearms, saying Americans should not face restrictions.

“The Second Amendment is a God-given, constitutionally-guaranteed right of all Americans that cannot be restricted to fit the will of the far-left,” Bishop said after rejecting to support multiple gun reform bills introduced last March. “The measures introduced by Democrats would do nothing to curb gun violence, but they would infringe on the rights of millions of Americans to protect their homes and their families. I will always fight to protect Americans’ right to defend themselves and bear arms.”

Patrick McHenry (R-10th Congressional District)

McHenry, who has been against most gun reform legislation, stated last year that the government should focus more on protecting gun rights and less on restrictive regulation.

“The right to keep and bear arms is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, yet Nancy Pelosi and Congressional Democrats continue their efforts to take it away from the American people,” said McHenry in a statement after voting against the Universal Background Checks Act and the Enhanced Background Checks Act in 2021. “We need laws that promote public safety and protect our Second Amendment rights, not legislation that turn law-abiding gun owners into criminals.”

Madison Cawthorn (R-11th Congressional District)

Cawthorn is a known champion for gun rights and has publicly stated on Twitter that he supports the protection of the Second Amendment. “We must never give up what our forefathers died to create. The second amendment protects every other right we have,” Cawthorn wrote. A promotional video of Cawthorn assembling a host of different firearms accompanied the tweet.

In March 2021, Cawthorn voted against HR 1446 also known as the Enhanced Background Checks Act.

Alma Adams (D-12th Congressional District)

Adams has a history of co-sponsoring legislation and voting in support of enhanced background checks. In 2019, she introduced the Law Enforcement Needs to Know Act that would have established a grant program for states and Native American tribes to enroll individuals who buy firearms in the FBI Rap Back program. The Rap Back program notifies police when a gun owner from their state is arrested anywhere in the country.

Ted Budd (R-13th Congressional District)

Budd, who recently defeated Pat McCrory in the North Carolina Republican U.S. Senate primary earlier this month, has voted against enhanced background checks and previously stated that gun reform won’t help prevent mass shootings but only undermine the rights of gun owners.

“Red flag laws with no due process, redundant background checks, so-called “assault weapons” bans, and many other anti-gun policies have been proposed or discussed,” Budd wrote in a February 2020 Fox News column. “But these policies will do little to address the mass violence problem in our society.”