As campaign season nears, politicians are turning up the volume on campaign rhetoric. To cut through the noise, we’re launching Campaign Context, a weekly series providing clarity on the messages you’re hearing from candidates on the campaign trail. We’re digging past the politics and into the facts to provide you with the transparent, spin-free information you need to make informed decisions this election season.
AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Sen. Roland Gutierrez, D-San Antonio, hopes to unseat U.S. Senator Ted Cruz in the 2024 election, and we’re diving into a recent comment he made about gun reform for our latest Campaign Context.
Speaking to KXAN amid the launch of his U.S. Senate campaign, Gutierrez said: “66% of Republicans are in favor of common sense gun reform.”
We asked Gutierrez’s office where he got that number and what he meant by “common sense” gun reform. His press secretary said the data is derived from a poll conducted by The Texas Politics Project in April 2023.
The poll asked participating Texans how they felt about two separate gun reform proposals: raising the legal age for purchasing a firearm from 18 to 21 and implementing what are commonly referred to as red flag laws.
The poll found 64% of Republicans supported the idea of raising the legal gun-buying age; 42% said they strongly support the idea, and 22% said they somewhat support the change.
When asked about whether they supported red flag laws — laws that give courts the power to temporarily restrict people from owning firearms if they’re considered to be a risk to themselves or others — a combined 64% of Republicans said they strongly or somewhat supported the idea.
The poll data shows Sen. Gutierrez was off by two percentage points in his remarks to KXAN, but overall, the large majority of Republicans polled in April 2023 did support both raising the legal gun-buying age and red flag laws.