The next National Rifle Association report card for Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) might not be as sterling as normal, but it seems that's a risk he's willing to take.
Patrick defied the NRA on Friday when he endorsed expanding the state's background checks to include private gun sales less than a week after a mass shooting in the Odessa, Texas, area, in which the alleged gunman reportedly purchased his weapon privately despite failing a previous background check.
Patrick, who has previously received an A-plus grade from the NRA for his stance on Second Amendment rights, said he is "willing to take an arrow" to tighten background checks. Patrick did advocate for allowing sales between family members and friends to remain exempt from triggering a check, but he said Texas must strongly discourage stranger-to-stranger sales without one.
"Look, I'm a solid NRA guy, but not expanding the background check to eliminate the stranger to stranger sale makes no sense to me and ... most folks," Patrick said, adding that he has spoken with several NRA members, who are of the same opinion when it comes to private sales to strangers.
The NRA was quick to respond, calling Patrick's proposals "political gambits" that would "resurrect the same broken, Bloomberg-funded failures that were attempted under the Obama administration." It appears that Patrick is undeterred, however. "Someone in the Republican Party has to take the lead on this," he said. Read more at The New York Times and The Dallas Morning News. Tim O'Donnell