Crenshaw and Ocasio-Cortez Get in Heated Online Spat Over Universal Background Checks

Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) traded jabs in a heated argument about universal background checks.

Gun violence has been one of the top issues of the summer after the horrific mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso and Odessa, Texas. While both sides have shown interest in adjusting the laws in hopes to prevent a future shooting, gun policy remains a controversial topic.

This controversy was on full display Wednesday morning after Ocasio-Cortez and Crenshaw argued publically about their views on universal background checks.

In a tweet posted Tuesday night, Crenshaw outlined his opposition to universal background checks, given that some forms of the policy would prevent gun owners from lending their weapons to friends or family.

Crenshaw warned that universal background checks could result in well-meaning people breaking the law by lending a gun to a friend. Ocasio-Cortez saw this tweet and condemned Crenshaw for offering to lend a weapon in the first place.

She took to Twitter to question Crenshaw’s opposition to universal background checks.

In her tweet, Ocasio-Cortez wrote, “The people you’re giving a gun to have likely abused their spouse or have a violent criminal record, [and] you may not know it.”

Her use of the word “likely” was questioned by many who found it insulting that she seemed to be assuming that Crenshaw’s friends would be abusive and that he would lend his gun irresponsibly.

The congressman fired back on Twitter, asking, “You think my friends are domestic abusers [or] criminals?”

The former Navy SEAL explained that many Americans lend their weapons to friends who may not own a weapon for reasons beyond their ability to pass a background check.

“This is America outside of NYC,” Crenshaw told the congresswoman.

Ocasio-Cortez didn’t let Crenshaw go unanswered. She claimed that no one can be certain that their friends do not have a history of abuse or some other criminal past that could prevent them from passing a background check. She published a thread explaining her frustration.

The congresswoman argued that “vouching for a friend” shouldn’t be a “substitute for a background check.”

Both Crenshaw and Ocasio-Cortez are on their last few days of the summer congressional recess. The two chambers will be back in session next week where gun violence is likely to be the hottest issue facing legislators.


  1. Screwtape – i meant we were on the recieving end of the borrow. My husband’s family is very close (the three of them hunt every year together) and i can only think a few times rifles were borrowed during hunting season. Last year my husband’s rifle had some issue so he used a spare for a few days… I’m not sure, i just cook the meat once its killed. 😉

    And I’m not assuming people have access to NCIS, but i am assuming people could understand they are liable if they provide a gun to someone and it’s used in any sort of crime. Most gun owners don’t lend their guns out willy nilly.

    1. Scofflaw! 😉

      I’d hope that the average gun owner is not so stupid/irresponsible to loan guns “willy nilly”.

      I’m not a gunsmith, but I can imagine the holy hell UBC laws will wreak on them IF ENFORCED. That’s the key. Who’s going to report, make arrests, etc.? Would one of your family turn in another family member? Doubtful.

      I AM an NRA-certified Range Safety Officer* at my rifle club and I get “loaned” firearms every single time, whether for safety inspection, malfunction clearance, etc. A lot of the regulars just want me to try their new “toy”.

      We’re entering the “hunter sight in” season. There WILL be massive violation of the *ahem* universal background-check laws currently proposed.

      *call me a terrorist SF. See if I care. Will I be a “felon” or a “justice-involved person”?

  2. AOC, I’d like to see you out on the ranges enforcing the background checks. Maybe you can check some targets while the line is still “hot”. You’d probably do that too, you moron.

    Let me show you how to visually check if there’s still a cartridge loaded from the muzzle end.

  3. Gee, you bucktoothed dimwit. You may be on to something.

    Voters “vouched” for you. How’d that work out? Did they do a background check on your non-achievements, personal failings, and lies about being “local”?

    How EXACTLY have you served their needs and not your own idiot ideology?

  4. Easy fix. If you knowingly lend a gun to a friend who couldn’t pass a background check and they use that gun to commit a crime then you should have a part in the legal responsibility for that crime. I’m a little horrified if that isn’t how things work today.

    We have borrowed guns from family when we went to the gun range to practice so i get the concern, but surely these caveats can be worked out easily enough. Rather than blasting the concern on Twitter to stir gun owner fury, it would have been nice for Rep Crenshaw to simply explain how he suggests the concern could be addressed.

    Rep AOC isn’t wrong in what she said about domestic violence abusers – even if her poor wording resulted in a bad implication on Rep Crenshaw”s friends.

    1. Phoenix,

      This assumes you have access to NICS (itself imperfect) AND complete knowledge of all aspects of your friend’s lives.

      I’ve lent many guns to many friends and acquaintances, but I did NOT let them leave with them nor allow them beyond my sight. You are trusting.

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