Sen. John Cornyn, the top Republican involved in negotiations for bipartisan gun legislation in the Senate, was heckled Friday as he delivered remarks at the Texas GOP convention.
During Cornyn's speech, some audience members could be heard booing and chanting "no red flag," an apparent reference to state laws that allow guns to be confiscated from people considered a danger to themselves or their community. Amid the backlash, Cornyn insisted there were certain lines he would not cross in the bipartisan talks.
“I will not under any circumstance support new restrictions for law-abiding gun owners, that will always be my red line. And despite what some of you may have heard, the framework that we are working on is consistent with that red line,” Cornyn said at the event in Houston.
NBC News has reached out to Cornyn's office for comment on the audience reaction.
Cornyn’s remarks came a day after he met for hours in a Senate basement with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to try to reach an agreement on the details of new gun legislation. The bipartisan group, which includes Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, has struggled over closing the “boyfriend loophole” involving gun rights for abusive partners.
The red flag law provision that's under consideration would offer grants designed to incentivize states to pass red flag laws, though the details of who would be eligible for the funding is still being worked out.
Cornyn's remarks mirrored a Senate floor speech he delivered earlier in the week countering unfounded claims that senators are planning a massive overhaul that would lead to broad confiscation of guns. He said Monday that he was interested in “keeping guns out of the hands of those who, by current law, are not supposed to have them: people with mental health problems, people who have criminal records.”
On Friday, Cornyn reiterated the widespread GOP position that mass shootings underscored the need to have a “reckoning with our broken mental health system.”
But he also took jabs at progressives.
“You know when tragedy strikes, the left’s knee jerk reactions is to say we should confiscate guns of law-abiding Texans,” he said. “I mean, they probably would confiscate your air rifle and your BB gun if they could, too.”