Congressman who represents Uvalde says it’s not time to talk about new gun laws

Mr Gonzales says people should ‘come together’ rather than talk about new gun laws right now

Andrew Feinberg
Washington, DC
Wednesday 25 May 2022 17:49
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Joe Biden demands change after Texas mass school shooting

Anthony Gonzales, the Republican congressman whose district includes the site of what is now the second-deadliest school shooting in US history, said Wednesday that it is not yet appropriate to discuss whether stricter gun laws are needed to prevent future massacres.

Mr Gonzales, a former navy cryptologist who is serving his first term as a member of the House of Representatives, has previously expressed opposition to laws making it harder to purchase firearms by strengthening requirements for background checks and making them mandatory for person-to-person sales instead of only when a gun is sold by a dealer.

In March 2021, he voted against two pieces of gun control legislation, including the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, which passed the House last year but have not yet been taken up by the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has signalled that he would be willing to bring up background check legislation for debate, but during an appearance on CBS Mornings the day after the Uvalde, Texas shooting, Mr Gonzales said now isn’t the time to discuss any of the sort.

"I'm happy to debate policy, not today. I mean, today, we, my community is hurting. You know, politicians like to divide us. Leaders unite us and we need to be united right now as Americans because what happened in Uvalde, Texas can happen anywhere," he said. "Right now, I've got families that don't, that can't identify their children. I've got folks that have to bury their children. I mean, these are the things that we're working with”.

Instead, Mr Gonzales said he is focused on ensuring that his community has the resources it needs to deal with the aftermath of the shooting.

"This is my home. Uvalde isn't a dot on a map for me. It's not a political football for me. This is home. These people I know, these are my community. I represent them. I love them," he said. "Right now, we need love. We need compassion. We need people to come together as we heal."

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