AUSTIN — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says he's "willing to take an arrow" and defy the National Rifle Association by pressing Texas to close one loophole in gun-purchaser background checks.
On Friday, Patrick said it's "common sense" to tighten background-check laws because in many instances, stranger-to-stranger sales now are exempt from the requirement that buyers be vetted through a federal database of people not eligible to purchase firearms.
Patrick wants to protect transfers among family members from triggering a check. He'd also continue to exempt friends, though he acknowledged that could be abused. Patrick, who presides over the Texas Senate, said he's willing to accede to the preferences of senators on whether to maintain that loophole — and if so, exactly how.
But he said Texas must strongly discourage selling guns to strangers without a background check.
"That gap of stranger to stranger we have to close, in my view," Patrick, a staunchly conservative Republican and avid gun-rights advocate, said in an interview with The Dallas Morning News.