Republican Presidential candidate Ted Cruz said that single mums living in rough urban neighbourhoods should all have guns so they can protect their families. The Texas senator is trailing bombastic billionaire Donald Trump in the race to be the Republican presidential candidate.

The 45-year-old made the comments on ABC's Good Morning America on 18 April when he fielded questions from a group of registered Republicans on questions ranging from guns to abortion and religious freedom.

Cruz, was speaking ahead of the New York primary on 19 April. According to the latest poll, Cruz is trailing Ohio Governor John Kasich and Trump in the state.

In the town hall-style interview, Bronx pastor Dimas Salaberrios, who was said to be an undecided Republican, asked him if he could stop the trafficking of guns from the south of the country making their way up to New York City.

The former Princeton-student has long argued against gun control and reaffirmed his belief to the crowd. He said: "If you're a single mum living in a tough neighbourhood, the Second Amendment protects your right that if someone comes through the window trying to harm your kids, you have a right to protect your kids. You have a right to be armed to protect your family."

Republicans including Trump have also rejected plans by Barack Obama's government to restrict gun sales to authorised buyers. Cruz has previously said that he has "always championed the right to bear arms" and Kasich has also repeated that stance.

Cruz also said that he felt rising gun crime statistics in some cities are as a direct result of more gun control. He said: "The way to stop gun violence is not to strip guns from law abiding citizens, but (from) criminals.

"You look at Washington, DC, and Chicago, they have effectively banned firearms and are right at the top of the murder rates. I don't think the answer is stripping people of their rights to defend themselves."