HOUSTON (May 3, 2013)--Passing new gun control laws won't stop criminals and would only make law-abiding citizens easy targets by depriving them of weapons to defend themselves, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Friday at the National Rifle Association convention's political rally.
Perry said measures such as tighter background checks on guns sales would only hurt non-criminals who want to buy them and called them a threat to the constitutional right to own a gun.
Perry says there are "no easy fixes" to gun violence, but that limiting gun ownership is not the answer.
"In Texas, we believe in freedom, personal responsibility, and the God-given right to defend yourself and your family,” Perry said.
“We never lose faith in our Founding Fathers' wisdom to include the Second Amendment to the Constitution among the Bill of Rights,” he said.
"A threat to gun ownership is a threat to a basic Constitutional right, and the NRA is about safe and responsible gun ownership."
Perry, who is a concealed handgun license holder, also said he will continue courting gun and ammunition manufacturers to relocate to Texas, one of the most gun-friendly states in the country.
"There's still a place that loves freedom in America, and that place is called Texas," Perry said.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told NRA members Friday the federal government should put its efforts into prosecuting criminals who illegally buy guns and not into trying to pass new gun control laws.
Cruz said President Barack Obama's administration has not done enough to prosecute felons and fugitives who illegally buy guns and has cut funding for such efforts.
He said the Obama administration has cut millions of dollars in funding for school safety and said the target of gun control legislation is not violent criminals but law-abiding citizens.