March 29, 2018
NSSF Q&A: U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas)
Editor’s Note: We are pleased to post the latest of our occasional Q&A features with an elected official who supports hunting and the shooting sports. NSSF thanks U.S. Senator John Cornyn for agreeing to talk with us.
Who introduced you to hunting/the shooting sports and at what age?
I started taking gun safety classes and shooting as a teenager, beginning with a .22 rifle for target practice while my dad supervised. Every teenage boy I know of enjoys that sort of thing, but it’s important that people get trained so it’s safe for them and for those around them. I had my first chance to go deer hunting during college, which grew my affinity for the sport.
What was your most recent shooting sports/hunting activity?
I just went quail hunting with some friends, and I’ve been two or three other times this year in Texas as well.
Describe your favorite shooting sport/hunting activity?
I primarily enjoy bird hunting with my 28 gauge over-under Beretta for quail and dove. I’d like to consider myself an ethical hunter – if you shoot it, you better eat it. I’ve stopped deer hunting for venison because my wife and daughters don’t really care for it. Birds are a different story, and my wife and I take turns preparing them. As far as where I like hunting best, as they say, everything is bigger in Texas.
Which piece of pending legislation related to the firearms industry is particularly important to you and why?
As Americans, we have a right to self-defense. I have my license to carry, as does my wife and many other Texans. My legislation, the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, would ensure this right will not be infringed. It should be legal for those who have a license to carry their weapon from state to state as long as they obey the laws in that state like you would with a driver’s license. You don’t need to get a driver’s license in all 50 states. You get one driver’s license, in your home state, and it’s recognized in other places. That’s a commonsense way to handle concealed carry licenses, and I am fighting to get reciprocity signed into law.
What do you see as the challenges and opportunities for hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts in this congressional session?
Well, we’re faced with a lot of challenges today, particularly with respect to keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals. One bill we worked to successfully include in the recent government funding bill, the Fix NICS Act, will strengthen our background check system and help ensure dangerous individuals who are legally barred from purchasing a firearm can’t circumvent the system. We had 78 cosponsors on that bill in the Senate, so that was a big bipartisan accomplishment. One opportunity we have this congressional session is to pass concealed carry reciprocity, which I mentioned earlier. That’s a top priority of law-abiding gun owners in Texas and something I’m looking forward to getting passed in the Senate soon.