(CNN) – President Barack Obama’s suggestion that state “Stand your Ground” laws should be examined after the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin could amount to an assault on the right of Americans to own guns, Sen. Ted Cruz said in Iowa Friday.
Speaking after addressing a Republican group, Cruz told reporters he hadn’t yet watched Obama’s remarks. But when asked to respond to Obama’s call for a review of laws in individual states, Cruz responded by saying the president was trampling on constitutionally guaranteed rights.
“It is not surprising that the president uses, it seems, every opportunity that he can to go after our Second Amendment right to bear arms,” the Texas Republican said. “This president and this administration has a consistent disregard for the Bill of Rights.”
For example, Cruz said the Obama administration was violating free speech guarantees by “restricting the rights of our servicemen and women to share their faith and not be gagged,” and that the use of drones raised other constitutional questions.
Obama on Friday made his first public comments about the acquittal of George Zimmerman last week in Martin’s shooting death in 2012.
In his speech, Obama called for reconsideration of “Stand your Ground” self-defense laws in Florida and other states.
“I think it would be useful for us to examine some state and local laws to see if they are designed in such a way that they may encourage the kinds of altercations and confrontations and tragedies that we saw in the Florida case, rather than diffuse potential altercations,” Obama said.