MSNBC's Joe Scarborough ruthlessly grills Ted Cruz over his defense of AR-15 rifles

Joe Scarborough and Ted Cruz.
(Image credit: Screenshot/MSNBC)

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) appeared on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Wednesday, quickly launching into a fiery debate with host Joe Scarborough over the legal standing of AR-15 rifles.

Cruz, who won renomination to the Senate on Tuesday night, began by arguing that a previous ban on assault-style weapons had "no statistically significant effect on violent crime." He insisted that semiautomatic weapons like the AR-15 aren't functionally any more dangerous than deer hunting rifles, saying that "what they call an assault weapon is essentially a scary-looking gun with a plastic handle here, a strap there."

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