NRA darling Ted Cruz requires background check for supporters who want to shoot with him
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Texas Republican senator and Second Amendment champ Ted Cruz has worked hard to quash legislation that would expand background checks for guns - unless those guns are going shooting with him.


Cruz, a 2016 presidential candidate, crusaded against a 2013 bill that would have expanded background checks on gun sales nationwide in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting. But if you want to participate in "Shoot With Cruz" fundraiser and sweepstakes, you're going to have to submit to a background check, Talking Points Memo reports.

While the requirement didn't appear on the entry page or a promotional email, TPM scoured the website for the Cruz campaign fundraiser and found the caveat buried in fine print, on a separate page altogether.

"Sponsor may, at its option, conduct a background check on each potential winner. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any potential winner from receiving the Prize based on such background check if Sponsor determines, in its sole discretion that awarding the Prize to such potential winner could result in a safety or security risk to any person or persons or could result in the disruption of any event associated with the Promotion," the sweepstakes rules read.

Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler told TPM the background check rule ensures the contest is in compliance with the law.

During an April speech to the National Rifle Association, Cruz recalled responding to the Sandy Hook shooting in which 26 people were killed - 20 of them elementary school children - by promising Harry Reid he'd "filibuster any legislation that undermines the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms," the New York Times reports.

A month earlier, he vowed to defeat President Obama's gun reform efforts.

"In any conversation about how to prevent future tragedies such as Sandy Hook, our focus should be on stopping criminals from obtaining guns," TPM reports he said in a statement. "Unfortunately, the Obama Administration has failed to make this a priority — in 2010, out of more than 15,700 fugitives and felons who tried to illegally purchase a firearm, the Obama Justice Department prosecuted only 44."

Cruz's spokesman told TPM today that Cruz "had not taken issue with current system of background checks, but specifically opposed the 2013 bill, which would have imposed them on sales between private individuals."