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Houston police chief slams McConnell and Texas senators on gun violence

 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks during the press conference on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019
Mitch McConnell speaks during an October press conference. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Houston Police chief Art Acevedo slammed Republican senators, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Texas Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, during a news conference Monday for inaction on gun violence.

The big picture: Acevedo criticized the senators two days after a Houston police sergeant was fatally shot while responding to a domestic violence report. Acevedo criticized the Republicans over the long-stalled Violence Against Women Act.

QuoteI don't want to see their little smug faces about how much they care about law enforcement when I'm burying a sergeant because they don't want to piss off the NRA. Make up your minds, whose side are you on?"
— Art Acevedo criticizes Republicans during a news conference

What he's saying: "I don't want to hear about how much they support law enforcement," Acevedo said.

"I don't want to hear about how much they care about lives and the sanctity of lives yet, we all know in law enforcement that one of the biggest reasons that the Senate and Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and others are not getting into a room and having a conference committee with the House and getting the [legislation passed] is because the NRA doesn't like the fact that we want to take firearms out of the hands of boyfriends that abuse their girlfriends.
And who killed our sergeant? A boyfriend abusing his girlfriend. So you're either here for women and children and our daughters and our sisters and our aunts, or you're here for the [NRA]."

The other side: The NRA has stated previously that the new provision for the act is "too broad."

  • Sen. Cornyn's office tweeted, "Unfortunately, important legislation like this has fallen casualty to impeachment mania. We will keep trying to pass a bipartisan bill but it takes two (parties) to tango."
  • A spokesperson for Cruz said the senator is reviewing the legislation and that he'd worked for years in law enforcement, "helping lead the fight to ensure that violent criminals — and especially sexual predators who target women and children — face the very strictest punishment," per CNN.

Go deeper: 145 CEOs urge Senate to pass gun control legislation