Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Resisting Dems’ Calls for Fast Votes on Gun Control Bills

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott mass shooting gun control

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott talks a mass shooting in Odessa during a news conference Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, in Odessa, Texas. (Mark Rogers/Odessa American via AP)

Yesterday Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen formed select committees to examine “mass violence and community safety” in the Lone Star State, one in the Senate and one in the House.

As a press release announced,

In response to the recent tragedies in El Paso, Midland, and Odessa, Lt. Gov. Patrick and Speaker Bonnen have each formed a select committee to study and recommend effective legislative solutions that will help prevent mass gun violence and improve community safety.

Each committee will be tasked with examining a comprehensive cross section of policy-related charges. Committee jurisdiction and issue areas will be announced this week, along with a full list of committee members in the Senate and House. The select committees will provide a final list of legislative recommendations to be translated into proposed statutory changes.

Meanwhile . . .

By Clarice Silber and Paul J. Weber, Associated Press

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday rejected calls from Democrats for immediate votes on new gun safety measures in Texas following a violent August that began and ended with mass shootings that left 29 people dead and injured dozens more.

The Texas Legislature doesn’t meet again until 2021. That means any new Texas laws in response to two gunmen — both armed with assault-style rifles — opening fire at a Walmart in El Paso and an hour-long rampage in West Texas are at least two years away, unless the governor takes the rare step of ordering an emergency legislative session.

But Abbott, an avid gun-rights supporter, has shown no appetite for doing so. Following the Labor Day weekend attack in Odessa that killed seven people, Abbott said “words must be followed by meaningful action” to prevent more mass shootings in Texas. But Democrats say the governor isn’t working fast enough and that his recent roundtable meetings on gun violence are insufficient.

“There’s only one person that stands in the way of us having this dialogue and these communications in a meaningful way and maybe, just maybe, create laws that will protect Texans, and that’s the governor,” Democratic state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez said.

Hours after Democrats demanded a special session on gun violence Wednesday, Abbott tweeted that he would announce executive actions and legislative proposals in the coming days but did not offer details. He added: “Legislators can be part of the process or part of the problem.”

Although Abbott did not explicitly rule out calling a special session, his office criticized the haste to begin taking votes.

“Governor Abbott made clear in Odessa that all strategies are on the table that will lead to laws that make Texans safer. But that doesn’t include a helter skelter approach that hastily calls for perfunctory votes that divide legislators along party lines,” Abbott spokesman John Wittman said.

A law enforcement official told The Associated Press that the gunman in last weekend’s rampage in the Permian Basin that killed seven people obtained his AR-style rifle through a private sale, allowing him to evade a federal background check that blocked him from getting a gun in 2014 due to a “mental health issue. The official spoke to The Associated Press Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation.

Officers killed 36-year-old Seth Aaron Ator on Saturday outside a busy Odessa movie theater after a spate of violence that spanned 10 miles (16 kilometers) and lasted more than an hour, injuring around two dozen people in addition to the dead. He spread terror across the two biggest cities in the Permian Basin while firing indiscriminately from his car into passing vehicles and shopping plazas.

The Texas Department of Public Safety has said Ator had tried purchasing a firearm in January 2014 but was denied. Since the El Paso shooting on Aug. 3 that killed 22 people, Abbott has raised concerns about private firearms sales but has not endorsed or offered any specific proposals.

In 2018, fewer than 100,000 people failed a background check. Of those, the vast majority were for having been convicted of a crime that made them ineligible. Far fewer, just over 6,000, were rejected for a mental health issue.

Texas laws allows a person to deny a handgun license based on a person’s mental health history, but that restriction only applies to the license to carry a handgun, not buying one.

The shooting on Labor Day weekend came just four weeks after a gunman in the Texas border city of El Paso killed 22 people after opening fire at a Walmart. It brings the number of mass killings in the U.S. so far this year to 25, according to The AP/USATODAY/Northeastern University mass murder database.



  1. avatar Some guy says:

    Good! Knee jerk reaction from Gov Skeletor is what screwed up Florida

  2. avatar Shire-man says:

    There is a time for thinking and a time for action. When gun control is concerned there is no time to think.

    1. avatar Southern Cross says:

      Because gun controllers believe emotions should override logic (just ask our resident genius of the carpathians).

      1. avatar Julio says:

        No—don’t do that. He doesn’t need any special invitations. Please?

  3. avatar grumpster says:

    Glad the governor is not bowing to pressure from the democrats who want to vote while emotions are high. Banning private firearm sales is not the answer. That nut case would have found a firearm anyway possibly murdering someone else to get it like they have done in the past. The democrats would love to ban private sales of firearms so that only the tyrannical government would decide who gets to own a firearm, what kind, and use registration to confiscate them when they decide to ban them some day

  4. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    Hopefully the governor will not prove himself a RINO.

  5. avatar enuf says:

    The only thing of a gun law nature that is needed is to enforce existing laws. Take Background Checks for example. This recent shooter is reported to have failed one over a mental health record of some sort, details have not been provided. My question then is what happened next? After the refusal, what action was taken?

    Typically the answer to that is nothing at all is done. The prohibited person just goes his merry way, free to break the law another day in whatever manner strikes his fancy. Only in very rare cases does FBI NICS alert law enforcement to a denial.

    All denials should require a response from local law enforcement. Otherwise, what the hell was the point?

    Next, any use of a gun in a crime should be reviewed by a joint team of local thru Federal prosecutors. What crime? What is the offender’s history? Prioritize repeat/habitual offenders for the greatest enforcement effort. Which jurisdiction has the best match of maximum punishment and maximum likelihood of conviction? This sort of thing is done from time to time around the country, and it works. Gets the worst scum into prison where they belong. But the effort never lasts, and that’s just wrong.

    The mental illness part of it needs massive funding, but can begin at the lowest local jurisdiction. Train teams of teachers, administrators, school resource officers in threat assessment. Prevent attacks by paying attention to people going down a violent path, making their plans.

    There is enormous good that can be done and none of it is about the guns. Even the enforcement of existing laws is about the people violating them and being ignored!

    1. avatar Chief Censor says:

      The sheriff office had calls of him threatening a Mexican woman with his AR-15 and shooting animals with it. They didn’t go to the call for service for the Mexican woman because they couldn’t find the address on GPS. That happened a few weeks ago. They never followed up on it. The government already knew he couldn’t own a gun and he already tried to buy one. The neighbors called him Mr. Loco and guessed that it was him when they heard the news.

      Seems like he was shooting the animals to eat them. He lived in a shack and it looks like he had an outhouse. There was no running water nor electricity. He slept in his car when it got cold. His home has a dirt floor.

      The gunman was a truck driver until he got fired that day. He called the police and FBI (sounds like they hung up on him and he called back multiple times) to complain about his situation before he started shooting. It appears he targeted Mexicans and black people. He shot up up truck drivers that didn’t appear to be white.

      I haven’t seen any info as to when he was put in the prohibited persons system for mental health reasons. It sounds like he was clearly mentally deranged if you talked to him. I wonder what person would sell a crazy person a gun. Maybe a family member?

      1. avatar DDay says:

        Yep, another person the gov’t knew about and wasn’t proactive. These nuts are known to people but either the people don’t say anything or when they do the gov’t screws up and does nothing.

        They couldn’t find the address? Unbelievable. How about calling the caller and getting directions from her, that would have taken 5 minutes and almost certainly prevented this.

        But these liberals say we need more gov’t. idiots.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        If he attempted to buy a firearm as a prohibited person in January 2014, the earliest he should have been released from Federal prison would be Jan 2019, since any dealing with firearms carries a 5-year stretch. If anyone were serious. But while we hear claims of huge numbers being denied every year, we never hear of ANY prosecutions. Right there is how to improve the background check system, put violators in prison.

    2. avatar neiowa says:

      mental illness part of it needs massive funding

      What are going to do with all that new loot? Hire MORE leftwing kook pshrinks (useless BS), buy useless (or worse) pills by the ton, lock folks up by the score (before they have done anything)?

      1. avatar Chief Censor says:

        That is the plan.

    3. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

      Be careful what you wish for. In 2014 the Pennsylvania State Police began investigating and charging every background check denial that did not send in their appeal form. What we discovered is that the vast majority of these were people who had no clue they were prohibited persons. They had some minor infraction in their youth, a minor drug conviction, a DUI, or a VOLUNTARY stay for mental health evaluation which the state police improperly classify as an INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT. Most of these were small things from the persons youth. Most of these people had gone on to be ordinary good citizens. But now they are fucked.

    4. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

      To Enuf

      Much of what you say is very true but do not expect the Gangster Criminal Republicans to fund any Mental Health Care plan that to be affordable would also include a National Health Care Plan. They will never spend a penny only as they only give themselves trillion dollar tax breaks. And so the easy way out is simply to start banning guns and lots of them. Don’t kid yourself if the Republicans wanted to save 2A rights they would have started spending money on multitudes of social programs decades ago. They never spent a penny.

      1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

        If the Republicans really really really wanted to save 2a rights they would spend more money on me lots of money so I did not have to do this crummy job and they would never ever spend even one penny on some Racist Fake Pretty Picture Boy Vlad Tepes who just showed up a few months ago and is trying to take credit for all my work like a greedy capitalist White Supremacist.

  6. avatar MMurcek says:

    Yes. As soon as they outlaw guns they will come after vaccines because the same “feelings are everything” crowd is afraid of those too. So get ready for the polio comeback…

    1. avatar Shire-man says:

      Embrace diversity in epidemics you bigot.

    2. avatar Chief Censor says:

      Only the strong will survive.

      1. avatar Chief Censor says:

        That is truly unfortunate because it means I am a gonner.

    3. avatar neiowa says:

      When it is available, will you mandate that all 8year olds have the shot to prevent queer?

      Yes I can troll back.

    4. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

      Looks to me like they are going to force vaccines on everyone.




      But, hey, the government is totally trustworthy and so is the media, right? They would never lie to us about anything or put crony profits above people’s health, right? I mean the great American philosopher Major Frank Burns, Korean War veteran, once said “If we don’t blindly follow our leaders we stand to lose all of our freedom.”

      1. avatar Arc says:

        Open vaccine manufactures up to liability and conduct independent, double blind studies, that in the least would be a good place to start. Unfortunately countries like Japan and Norway have to pick up where America has failed.

        Kids are apparently property, they have no free will and no ability to say no. So goes my story about how my body was forcefully violated in a “doctors office”, even in the face of my literal kicking and screaming of NO! What part of NO do people not understand? That doctor is one of the few people in the world I hope got hit by a train, or in the least, had a completely miserable life.

        I wonder what someone would say if I walked up to them and told them they had no free will, they could not consent or revoke consent for anything, and they were nothing but property. . . maybe thats all people are, property.

        End rant.

  7. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    Yep, screw with the Constitution is an emotional rush!!! A couple of hundred years for the 17 amendments after the Constitution itself and the Bill of Rights so let’s make such decisions in a hurry and vote for bills that haven’t been discussed by anybody but firearm ignorant Constitution spurning Democrats.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Well we did pass quite a bunch of stupid as amendments a century ago. Grandda thought the old gal would quit bitching and put out if he just GIFTED them the vote. RIIIIGHT.

  8. avatar Truckman says:

    what happened to the followup that should of happened when this person was turned down for mental problems he should of been told at that time just being caught with a gun would send him to prison thats one of the problem no follow up not even a letter on these people that turned down

    1. avatar Chief Censor says:

      I know gun store workers do warn crazy people they can’t own guns because it’s illegal for them to have one.

      I am pretty sure this guy knew he couldn’t own a gun because he started shooting before the cops could pull him over for not using his turn signal. He knew he was going to jail for illegally owning a gun. He was already on his way to commit the shooting.

      1. avatar Chief Censor says:

        “I know gun store workers do warn crazy people they can’t own guns because it’s illegal for them to have one.”

        Ask me how I know, go ahead ask me.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        I don’t think so. Story I got says neighbors called police on him several times for both waving a gun around and for firing it, as a prohibited person that is 5 years for each event, but it never happened. Why would he think it was going to happen this time?

  9. avatar Jason Somers says:

    Being an employee of Walmart, having to complete my video “Active Shooter” training video that clearly states, “You have the full legal right to defend yourself.” I have never seen on any door, as required by state law, must be posted atleast visible with in 10ft of any entrance. Am I suppose to take this as to mean their is an “spoken” don’t ask don’t tell gentleman’s agreement?

  10. avatar Mark says:

    Stand strong, Texans.

  11. avatar Kyle says:

    I’m 100% for gun control. 3 simple caveats.

    1) You need to show to me how it will curb gun violence by criminals.
    2) It needs to be constitutional.
    3) It needs to affect criminals, not lawful gun owners.

    So far, I’m still waiting.

    1. avatar P says:

      Yes, and they have to be effective and enforced. Otherwise, they are a burden on the law-abiding without preventing anything. The ridiculous taxes and fees on guns, ammos and permits are just a cash grab easy to impose under the guise of being effective in preventing violence.

  12. avatar FrankTX says:

    You had to mention the scumbag shooter’s name again! Way to go Dan.

  13. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    Abbots not stupid like most Libitards in Texas and the US ofA. He knows any laws made to make you “Feel” better only hurt law abiding folks and do nothing to stop criminals.
    So why rush like the idiots did here in Florida almost 2 years ago.
    All red flag laws will prove to be unconstitutional eventually.
    Banning guns and mags might just start the civil war some are actually waiting for.

  14. That’s RIGHT! If The British Monarchy had “Red Flag Laws/ Extreme Risk Protection Orders”, then these wretched American colonists Wouldn’t have been able to start a Rebellion against the crown 👑! Public Safety served, Freedom and Liberty crushed! [This is the mentality of our current authoritarian leaning politicians. Who have nothing to be fear of from the sheeple 🐑 of the taxpaying populous..Those who have abandon their oath of office to uphold the U.S. Constitution/Bill of Rights…For there is NO bite, or immediate dire consequences for THEM for NOT doing so…Now, their Federal arm (FBI/ New S.S., can and will seize YOUR “personal arms and property…Without Due Process…While violating and infringing upon the very amendments that are supposed to protect us from government overreach…Now watch what YOU say…YOUR no longer living in a “free country”. You can and will be targeted as an “Enemy of the State! )

  15. avatar sell out says:

    The bigger risk is at the national level. Trump wants to get re-elected. He will sell us for 4 more years and fifty pieces of silver.

    1. avatar Victor says:

      And McConnell will back any citizen-disarmism that Trump backs.

  16. avatar possum says:

    Fast or slow what doe’s it matter if you know your going to win. I would think that if I knew a positive outcome was in a vote I would want to to be yesterday. What I’m reading about the ownership of gunms and rights is similar to, “Oh my God, I hooe I don’t have to go to court, In busted.” Perhaps a person should think, ” Let’s get it on, vote, so POTG can slap you down”,,, with their vote. But No, it’s just stalling the execution.

  17. avatar Ed Schrade says:

    Bring the legislature into special session and pass meaningful Constitutional carry !

  18. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

    Well this is one time the far right have egg all over their faces and now are dancing around the truth or totally avoiding it. All of those victims in the mass murder would probably still be alive today if the U.S. had universal back ground checks because now it is proven he bought the AR 15 in a private sale which would have been illegal under a universal back ground check.

    Lets face facts such laws have worked very well in other countries and yes I know the Far Right will now grasp at straws and say there will always be illegal guns for sale. This is true to a degree but they become very scarce and very, very expensive. No law can ever bee 100 per cent effect but to say we should have no laws against rape, murder or child abuse makes about as much sense as saying we should not also have universal back ground checks either. Common sense would tell anyone we do need this as there is absolutely no logical argument against this.

    1. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

      Australia has a big home made gun problem. Europe is awash in guns leftover from various wars and smuggled in by middle eastern immigrants. England, Japan, and China have major knife issues. And those laws against rape, murder, and child abuse have not stopped those things. But those things are not objects. Drugs are objects and the laws against drugs are violated so much and so badly that all they have done is enrich cartels and grow government intrusion into our lives. Gun prohibition does not work anymore than any other prohibition. Compliance with gun laws in strict states is extremely low. And those most affected by guns laws are the poor and minorities. Why do you hate the poor and minorities?

      1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

        quote—————Why do you hate the poor and minorities?———-quote

        The poor and minorities are the largest victims of illegal gun ownership and we all know how you really feel about them, as your resistance to background checks prove it.

        1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

          And we all know how Fake Racist Pretty Picture Boy Vlad Tepes who like to try to take credit for other peoples work hates the poor and minorities because he thinks they all smell bad but he does not have any room to talk at all.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      It was illegal anyway, he’s a prohibited person. But criminals and crazies don’t care, so universally unenforceable background checks would have made zero difference. And nobody seems to have mentioned the circumstances, I am curious whether the gun was stolen, for example. Are we going to make it illegal to steal guns, too?

      1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

        The latest news from the Cops was that they quickly traced the AR15 to a private sale which of course was not vetted as its legal to sell to anyone with a wink and a nod and a hand full of bloody quick cash. Capitalvania at its most obscene.

        1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

          Pretty picture boy Vlad Tepes knows all about being a greedy capitalist who tries to take credit for other peoples work and gets written up for going off script.

  19. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

    How about we just put a red or green gun symbol on all state ID’s and drivers licenses indicating that you either are or are not legal to own and carry guns.

    Just demand a look at the DL/ID of anyone you are selling a gun to. No lists, no registration, no record of transactions, no system to call into, no body knows nuthin’.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      Why do I need to take the trouble? I didn’t do anything wrong! If the person is prohibited, tattoo “PROHIBITED” on his forehead, problem solved.

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I have a neighbor who does that with houses! What is illegal about it?

      1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

        Actually making guns and or selling them without the proper Federal Licenses has been against the law for decades. For awhile a number of decades ago the Feds were even arresting people at gun shows when they observed that they were not selling off a personal collection of guns but rather wheeling and dealing by buying and selling at the shows without a license.

        1. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

          Actually Fake Pretty Picture Boy Vlad Tepes is in big trouble now he is not going to get written up for telling the truth about gun laws he is going to probably be counseled and maybe even suspended on page two of the manual it says we are supposed to say there are no gun laws or the so called gun laws we have are too week. This proves he is a fake fake fake Vlad Tepes he is showing his true Racist White Supremacist Greedy Capitalist colors.

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