Sen. Josh Hawley makes stops in Malden, Poplar Bluff, Mo.

Hawley speaks on background checks on firearms

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. (KFVS) - Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) stopped in the Heartland on Thursday, August 22 to speak with local leaders.

Sen. Hawley visited both Malden and Poplar Bluff, to touch base with his constituents.

The former Missouri Attorney General had a lot to say about things like big tech companies, and the latest on the Branson duck boat legislation.

He also spoke with Heartland News about where he stands on universal firearm background checks.

Senator Hawley office says he wants to ensure that any gun legislation brought before the Senate will protect the Second Amendment right of all law abiding citizens.

My view is, I’m going to evaluate any proposal - and none have yet been introduced to my knowledge - but when we actually get the proposals introduced, I’m going to evaluate any proposal based on: Does it actually make us safer? Does it make kids safer, does it make our communities safer? said Hawley. "Number two: Does it get guns out of the hands of criminals? Does it get guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and the mentally unstable? Because I think that’s a huge, huge component of this. And then finally: does it protect the Second Amendment rights of law abiding citizens? Because it won’t do any good to take guns away from law abiding citizens and then only the criminals have them. We also need to get illegal guns up off the streets, and so the Department of Justice needs to continue to work and accelerate their programs on that, and if they need more funding for that, we should give that to them.”

“I think we ought to expand the background check database system, the national system, to include mental health records, to include records of past violent conduct,” said Sen. Hawley. “What we find too often now is, a lot of these records are not included so at point of sale people don’t know. Law enforcement, one set of law enforcement don’t have access to the other records from law enforcement. We need to actually fix that system and make it strong, by putting more records in there, so more law enforcement and sellers can actually do their jobs.”

The Senator also spoke with Carter County Sheriff Rick Stephens about last week’s hours-long standoff, where a deputy and a state trooper were shot.

Heartland News also spoke with the Senator about how companies like Facebook and Google reportedly make use of children’s data.

"Parents need to have the power to raise their kids, not these big tech companies," said Sen. Hawley. "So we need to stop the big tech companies from tracking our kids online, from directing advertisements at our kids online, and from trying to get our kids addicted to their platforms."

The government recently fined Facebook $5 Billion for privacy violations.

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