AOC Questions Dan Crenshaw Over Twitter Post About Lending Guns to Friends

By Mimi Nguyen Ly

Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) questioned Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Tex.) after he wrote on Twitter that universal background checks would prevent him from lending a gun to his friend.

Crenshaw posted a story about a Texas woman who successfully defended herself from five male attackers by pulling out her gun and firing two shots, which ultimately deterred them from stealing her purse. The woman, Lachelle Hudgins, of Houston, was alone in her car at a parking lot near her home at 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 3 when the men approached her.

Crenshaw, a former U.S. Navy SEAL, used the story to express his support for the Second Amendment and comment on the issue of universal background checks.

“Situations like this story are why we protect the 2nd Amendment,” he wrote. “Side note: With universal background checks, I wouldn’t be able to let my friends borrow my handgun when they travel alone like this. We would make felons out of people just for defending themselves.”

bill, H.R.8—commonly referred to as “universal background checks”—passed by the Democrat-majority House in February would require background checks on all firearm sales in the United States. The bill has not passed the Senate. President Donald Trump has threatened to veto the legislation if it reaches his desk, Reuters previously reported.

Several hours after Crenshaw’s post, Ocasio-Cortez posted on Twitter at Crenshaw, questioning why he would lend his guns to those who “can’t pass a basic background check.”

“You are a member of Congress. Why are you ‘lending’ guns to people unsupervised who can’t pass a basic background check?” she asked. “The people you’re giving a gun to have likely abused their spouse or have a violent criminal record, and you may not know it. Why on earth would you do that?”

To this, Crenshaw responded with questions directed back at Ocasio-Cortez.

“Just so I’m clear: you think my friends are domestic abusers/criminals? Seriously that’s your argument? That they can’t pass a background check?” he asked. “Wrong. People lend guns to friends, esp if they don’t own a gun, for self-defense and hunting purposes.”

Ocasio-Cortez responded: “You said [with] universal background checks, you wouldn’t be able to ‘lend’ guns to friends. If a background check would be a problem, then you shouldn’t ‘lend’ a gun,” she wrote.

‘Why Lend a Gun to Someone Without a Background Check?’

One Twitter user weighed in on the situation, saying: “That’s implicit in what Crenshaw is saying. He knows his friends and isn’t being irresponsible. The criminals are the ones who give each other guns without care for society safety.”

Ocasio-Cortez responded to that comment, saying: “This idea of ‘I know the guy, there’s no way he beats his wife’ as the way we keep guns out of the hands of abusers is ridiculous. Any person who has been abused, assaulted, etc knows that abusers often present as ‘upstanding.’ There’s no way you’d know. That’s why it’s common.”

“Rapists can have Ivy League degrees,” Ocasio-Cortez added. Abusers can look like ‘good dads’ or have high incomes or ‘great jobs.’ Good appearances are often a cover for abusers. In fact, many abusers rely on their public reputation to intimidate partners from leaving (ex: ‘no one will believe you.’)”

She wasn’t finished. She continued by writing: “Domestic abusers can be master manipulators. Plus, domestic abuse is a huge indicator for gun violence. That’s why ‘vouching for friend’ isn’t a substitute for a background check. You wouldn’t lend a car to someone [without] a license. Why lend a gun to someone [without] a background check?”

Kevin McMahon, who is affiliated with conservative group Young America’s Foundation, questioned Cortez’s premise by responding, “This idea of ‘I don’t know the guy, he probably beats his wife’ as the way we keep guns out of the hands of innocents is ridiculous.”

Hypothetical Situation

By that time, Stephen Gutowski, a reporter from The Washington Free Beacon, had also joined the discussion.

“It is already illegal to knowingly transfer a gun to somebody prohibited from owning them,” he wrote. “HR8, passed by the house, would ban transfers of guns between friends without a background check. There are a few exceptions to that rule, but Dan Crenshaw’s example is accurate.”

From here, Gutowski appeared to affirm that Crenshaw’s comments were accurate by illustrating a hypothetical situation in the lending of a gun to a friend if H.R.8 was enacted.

“HR8 mandates that all transfers of guns (not just sales) must be made through a licensed gun dealer. That dealer must conduct a background check on the person who receives the gun as they are required to with transfers they conduct under current law,” Gutowski explained, noting that under H.R.8, there still exist exceptions which include transfers “for family members, transfers ‘necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm,’ and temporary transfers for use at a shooting range, hunting, or in the presence of the owner.”

But there does not exist an exception to lend a gun to a friend for personal protection. As such, Gutowski goes on to explain that in that scenario, as Crenshaw had posited, “under HR8 you would need to travel to a gun dealer, transfer the gun to them, pay them a fee to process a background check, and then they would transfer the gun to your friend.”

“Then you would have to go through the same process again in order to get the gun back from your friend. You would need to do the same thing every time you lent them your gun,” he added. “How common is the situation that [Dan Crenshaw] described? I honestly have no idea and don’t know how you’d gather data on something like that either. His description of HR8 in this particular situation is accurate, though.”

The Twitter discussion took place in the wake of recent shootings in the country, which include the back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio that together killed 31 people, as well as the deadly shooting rampage in western Texas on Saturday, Aug. 30 that killed seven people.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Sept. 3 that he is waiting on the White House to clarify its position on legislation to address gun violence, and that he would be willing to bring a given bill to the floor if President Trump is willing to sign that bill into law.

“The administration is in the process of studying what they are prepared to support, if anything, and I expect to get an answer to that next week,” McConnell said in an interview. “If the president is in favor of a number of things that he has discussed openly and publicly, and I know that if we pass it it’ll become law, I’ll put it on the floor.”

The full House and Senate are both on a six-week recess and are scheduled to reconvene on Sept. 9.

From The Epoch Times