Gun Owners of America speaks out against John Cornyn's bid to replace McConnell as Senate GOP leader

The group's federal affairs director called Cornyn a "traitor" and said he should "join Mitch McConnell in retirement."
John Cornyn, Feb. 8, 2024, Washington, D.C.

Gun Owners of America, a conservative firearm rights group, spoke out against Texas Sen. John Cornyn's bid to replace Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell as Senate Republican leader.

"The Senate deserves a conservative pro-gun leader, and John Cornyn is not that person," Gun Owners of America Federal Affairs Director Aidan Johnston said last week in a statement posted by the group on X, formerly Twitter. "Every time a gun issue comes up, he’s right there with a compromise. And that’s not leadership. That’s just capitulation to gun control."

Johnston reiterated his group's opposition in comments to Fox News Digital on Saturday. 

"In the eyes of gun owners and all those who treasure our liberties, the traitor from Texas' record makes him wholly unfit to lead Republicans in the Senate," he said. 

Cornyn announced his bid to replace McConnell on Thursday.

"Sen. Cornyn is responsible for helping pass the so-called Bipartisan Safer Communities Act that, among other things, bribes states to enact 'red-flag' gun confiscation laws, creates a national de facto wait period for young adults to buy a gun, and creates a backdoor ATF rule to eliminate the private sale of firearms," Johnston also said, calling the law's provisions "gross infringements on the Second Amendment."

The Safer Communities Act urges states to pass "red flag" laws that allow the public and law enforcement to petition courts to issue an order temporarily suspending a person's access to firearms over concerns that person may pose a danger to themselves or others. 

Johnston added: "The best thing Senator Cornyn could do for gun rights is join Mitch McConnell in retirement."

McConnell is not retiring from his position as senator, only as GOP leader.

Cornyn, however, has not faced public opposition from other major firearms groups. When he ran for reelection in 2020, before the passage of the Safer Communities Act, the National Rifle Association's political action committee gave Cornyn an A+ rating for his defense of firearm rights.

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