Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo lashed Texas Republican senators and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday for appearing to care more about the National Rifle Association than victims of gun violence.
“I don’t want to see their little smug faces about about how much they care about law enforcement when I’m burying a sergeant because they don’t want to piss off the NRA,” Acevedo said outside the Houston medical examiner’s office, where the body of shooting victim Police Sgt. Christopher Brewster lay.
He pressed McConnell and Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn: “Make up your minds. Whose side are you on? Gun manufacturers, the gun lobby — or the children that are getting gunned down in this country every single day?”
Acevedo is particularly angry that the Senate hasn’t renewed the federal Violence Against Women Act. A provision of the bill passed in the House would close the so-called boyfriend loophole. Federal law currently prohibits felons and domestic abusers living with their victims from buying guns, but abusive dating partners living elsewhere can still purchase firearms.
Brewster was killed, allegedly by the armed, abusive boyfriend of a Houston woman, as he responded to a domestic violence call.
The bill is stalled, said Acevedo, “because the NRA doesn’t like the fact that we want to take firearms out of the hands of boyfriends that abuse their girlfriends.” He added: “You’re either here for women and children and our daughters and our sisters and our aunts, or you’re here for the NRA.”
Cornyn in a tweet to Acevedo last week blamed Democrats wrapped up in “impeachment mania” for failing to negotiate on the stalled bill. Cruz’s office resurrected a 2013 quote about the law in an emailed statement to CNN saying that the senator has fought to “ensure that violent criminals — especially sexual predators who target women and children — face the very strictest punishment.”
Neither senator’s office specifically addressed the armed abusive boyfriend issue.