Texas Gun Rights Supporters Push Back as Gov. Abbott Hints at Expanding Background Checks

Mass Shooting Texas abbott safety commission

Gun rights advocates gather outside the Texas Capitol where Texas Gov. Greg Abbott held a round table discussion, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019, in Austin, Texas. Abbott is meeting in Austin with officials from Google, Twitter and Facebook as well as officials from the FBI and state lawmakers to discuss ways of combatting extremism in light of the recent mass shooting in El Paso that reportedly targeted Mexicans. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Last week, members of the Texas gun rights community held a rally outside the capitol here in Austin ahead of the first meeting of Greg Abbott’s new Texas Safety Commission. See our report and video of the event here.

As we noted, the initial makeup of the commission excluded any representatives from what the AP, below, calls Texas’s muscular gun rights lobby. After pressure was applied, Abbott agreed to include someone from the Texas State Rifle Association.

Here’s the AP’s report of the day’s doings.

By Jim Vertuno

Texas’ muscular gun-rights lobby swiftly pushed back after Gov. Greg Abbott raised the possibility of tighter firearms laws in response to a gunman killing 22 people at an El Paso Walmart.

The resistance could test the relationship between gun-rights groups, Abbott and the state’s Republican leadership, which eased gun restrictions after previous mass shootings in 2017 and 2018.

Before Abbott could even convene a closed-door meeting Thursday at the Capitol with lawmakers and law enforcement in response to the El Paso shooting, gun-rights advocates rallied outside. Several demonstrators openly carried assault-style rifles, and demanded Texas not infringe on their liberty.

After the meeting, the governor raised alarms about the inability to track private gun sales, which are largely unregulated and don’t require a background check. Hours later, the Texas State Rifle Association emailed its members with a response to calls for new gun restrictions.

“NO, NO and NO,” wrote Alice Tripp, the NRA-affiliated group’s legislative director and lobbyist, a powerful figure around Texas politics for the last two decades. “This country, this state, has mountains of existing gun law being ignored or under prosecuted.”

Tripp said it was Democratic lawmakers from El Paso in the meeting who pushed for more gun laws. But it was Abbott who publicly questioned private gun sales and cited a “danger” in who might be buying and selling in that weapons market.

“Right now there is nothing in law that would prevent one stranger from selling a gun to a terrorist,” Abbott said, “and obviously that’s a danger that needs to be looked into.”

State Sen. Jose Rodriguez, an El Paso Democrat, said the governor was pushing for ideas on guns laws.

Greg Abbott, Dennis Bonnen, Dan Patrick texas safety commission

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, center with Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen, right, and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, left, makes opening statements during a round table discussion, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019, in Austin, Texas. Abbott is meeting in Austin with officials from Google, Twitter and Facebook as well as officials from the FBI and state lawmakers to discuss ways of combatting extremism in light of the recent mass shooting in El Paso that reportedly targeted Mexicans. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Abbott was “really pushing people to explore where are the gaps in existing law, and secondly where do we need some additional laws that are possible solutions to some of these issues,” Rodriguez said.

Abbott’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday. Gun rights activists are closely watching what he does next.

The governor has another meeting scheduled in El Paso next week. The Legislature doesn’t meet until 2021, after the 2020 elections, and Abbott has shown no sign of calling lawmakers into special session.

Abbott held similar meetings in 2018 after mass shootings at a church in Sutherland Springs a high school near Houston. He later released a 43-page report which called for lawmakers to at least consider so-called “red flag” laws and tougher restrictions on home gun storage.

Gun-rights advocates pounced and he quickly backed away from anything critics deemed gun control. Abbott instead signed a series of new laws expanding gun rights pushed by the Legislature’s Republican majority.

Those included easing restrictions on where firearms can be carried, from schools to churches, apartments and foster homes, and barred cities from passing their own gun and ammunition sales limits. Lawmakers also approved putting more armed personnel in schools.

Thursday’s gun-rights rally outside the Capitol included members of Open Carry Texas and Gun Owners of America. Both groups complained they were left out of Abbott’s meeting.

“There’s a lot of worry among the grassroots that our Republican politicians are losing their loyalty to defending Constitutional rights,” said Open Carry Texas founder C.J. Grisham. “This is the habit of Greg Abbott. The people make it known we don’t like this and he backs off. It makes us wonder where does he really stand, and where would he be without grassroots?”

Also at the rally was Stephen Willeford, who was hailed as a hero for shooting back and wounding the gunman who killed more than two dozen people at the Sutherland Springs church in 2017.

Standing at the gate to the Capitol grounds, Willeford held up the AR-15 rifle he used that day, which still has police evidence tags attached and hasn’t been fired since.

“I used this rifle to defend my community,” Willeford said. “Without my Second Amendment, I would not have had this rifle. The shooter would have had his.”

comments

  1. avatar billy-bob says:

    Like a new law is going to stop a person from selling a gun to a terrorist. I mean, isn’t terrorism already illegal in Texas?

    1. avatar Anonymous says:

      Abbott is meeting in Austin with officials from Google, Twitter and Facebook as well as officials from the FBI and state lawmakers to discuss ways of combatting extremism.

      Sounds like a surveillance state meeting. Is social media going to data mine and make a list of gun owners and then tag certain ones based on particular phrases they post? Then hand over that list to the state? Sounds like it.

      1. avatar Anonymous says:

        I wonder what those “phrases” will be.

        1. avatar Geoff "Hurry-up and *die*, Ruthie" PR says:

          “I wonder what those “phrases” will be.”

          Let’s start a list –

          “Civil War”.

          References to the Gadsen Flag, and variations on “Come and Take it”.

          “I will not comply”.

          I hate to say it, but social media would be the ideal place to develop a list of gun owners that they will be all to happy to forward to civil rights bigots like the political Leftist.

          I’d also be concerned about anti-2A fascists goading POTG into saying anything that they can use to ‘red flag’ someone. Like the 1940s Nazis, getting children to report on their own family and neighbors so they can be brought in ‘for questioning’ (and a summary execution after a Leftist kangaroo court declares them guilty…)

        2. avatar neiowa says:

          If you are dumb enough to be on facebooks, twitter, etc

        3. avatar PMinFL says:

          If you think about it, how many folks post HERE and cannot resist listing all of their firearms. They act as if their guns are better or are preferred over someone else’s list of property. I think it happens all of the time…..you want my list? think not.

    2. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

      billy-bob says:
      August 25, 2019 at 17:10
      quote———————-Like a new law is going to stop a person from selling a gun to a terrorist. I mean, isn’t terrorism already illegal in Texas?————–quote

      Actually in Texas it is legal for one stranger to sell a gun to another stranger and the seller has no idea if the buyer is a terrorist. If there was a law that required paperwork for second hand gun sales all sellers would know that if they got caught not going through a dealer and they secretly sold a second hand gun and it ended up in a crime they would go to jail right along side the criminal who misused a gun in a crime. A few well publicized cases like that and you would see how fast the used gun market for crooks and criminals would almost dry up overnight. Its called “self-preservation” and looking out for no. 1.

      1. avatar Hank says:

        Whatever you say, fatty.

      2. avatar Anonymous says:

        If there was a law that required paperwork for second hand gun sales all sellers would know that if they got caught not going through a dealer and they secretly sold a second hand gun and it ended up in a crime they would go to jail right along side the criminal who misused a gun in a crime. A few well publicized cases like that and you would see how fast the used gun market for crooks and criminals would almost dry up overnight. Its called “self-preservation” and looking out for no. 1.

        Disagree. It would only provide incentive to make guns untraceable, so that if the buyer was caught, the seller would be protected.

        Moreover it’s not logically sound on the basis of fairness. It arbitrarily and capriciously selects “guns” as items assigned for the socialism of responsibility. No background checks for poison, chemicals, knives, swords, or other items – just guns. As if guns are the problem and murder is not. Now when I say socialism of responsibility I mean that responsibility doesn’t become personal – it becomes social. So if I sell a shovel to some guy named Bob and later bob used that shovel to bury a dead body that he killed, I should be partially responsible. That same logic – except for guns. So socialism is about the equal sharing of misery. And so if a criminal kills someone, I should be held responsible too because I didn’t go through some state mandated background checks years ago at a yard sale where I sold my rifle.

      3. avatar Vlad's dad says:

        The boy was always in love with making up pointless rules for other people to follow. When he was a freshman in high school, he spent hours playing dolls with girls in the third grade. He would drive them crazy with his incessant arguing and nonsensical rationalizations for the rules he came up with. He wanted to be the boss, and when they could not take it anymore they just beat him to a pulp. He would come home crying and raging about licensing and registration for possession of Barbie dolls, and background checks for all little girls over the age of seven.

      4. avatar Country Boy says:

        I hate to be the one to tell you, but criminals either steal the guns themselves, or buy from another thug that stole them. If not either of those they buy rom the black market. There is a vast illegal firearms black market, that will NEVER be put “out of business”. Telling us you think criminals/gangstas buy from law abiding citizens only goes to show just how naive you really are on this subject.

        No felon/multiple felon would ever buy at the local gun store or a franchised big box store either.

        Wake up and don’t be a woke guy

  2. avatar Thixotropic says:

    Government CAN NOT solve ALL of OUR problems.

    RED Flag laws and Universal Background Checks WILL DO NOTHING to STOP unlawful gun trafficking or the psych meds taking crazy active shooters FROM obtaining firearms.

    1. avatar Rad Man says:

      Everybody knows this. It’s not about crime prevention, never has been. It’s about civilian disarmament and government control.

    2. avatar Someone says:

      Government was never meant to solve all of our problems. But there are some in government who will promise just that in exchange for our rights. “Just disarm and you have no more worry in the world – we will take care of you. “

      1. avatar Ronald L Ivy says:

        Just like they do in Mexico

  3. avatar Gregory Peter DuPont says:

    Wasn’t Bonnen the RINO infiltrator who killed Constitutional Carry?

    1. avatar Ed Schrade says:

      Yes, the traitor was Bonnen. He is being sued and has other more serious legal trouble as well.

  4. avatar Chief Censor says:

    Texas isn’t the pro 2A state people like to pretend it is. Nor is it a liberty loving state.

    If Texas became its own country it would end up a bad place for the individual.

    1. avatar Sheer Hawai'i says:

      I can attest to this.

      Living in Texas, now, I am so disappointed this isn’t a Constitutional Carry state.

      How that little blueberry of Austin can control the watermelon of the rest of the state drives me crazy!

      1. avatar Mark says:

        Can you not flip Austin on 2A? It couldn’t have turned anti-2A in a vacuum.

        This sort of thing screams “rural-urban divide”; how would gun culture be reinstated in Austin?

        1. avatar Jon Wain says:

          Nuke the site from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.

          There are no Texans in Austin. It is populated 100% with people from the left and east coasts, primarily California, with over 500 new refugees moving there daily. There is no recovering Austin. Walling it off Escape From NY style might work, though.

    2. avatar strych9 says:

      It’s been that way for a long time.

      I vividly remember having a discussion about this with a friend from Texas while I was living in New Mexico. He said Texas was better, Red, Republican and all that while NM was Purple and had a Democrat for a governor.

      He got pretty pissed when I did a side by side comparison of the gun laws at the time and NM came out so far ahead it made Texas look like New York by comparison. Especially when I kinda kicked him while he was down with the whole “Dude, you don’t even have legal open carry without a license! That’s a “free state” in your world?”.

  5. avatar Randy Jones says:

    “Right now there is nothing in law that would prevent one stranger from selling a gun to a terrorist,” Abbott said, “and obviously that’s a danger that needs to be looked into.”

    And there is stuff in the law about not selling/supplying guns to drug dealers and terrorist, but our government did that. No honest law-abiding gun owner would knowingly sell a gun to a terrorist, most sell a gun to someone we know, a family member or someone we can reasonably trust. I would be willing to bet that guns transferred using the so called “gun show loophole” have caused less harm to humanity that gun legally bought through the NICS system because the feds didn’t run the check within three days or missing information that should have been in he system. If a cop can pull you over along side any road in the US and within 15 seconds give you your criminal history, why should it take three days to run a NICS check? If they can run a NICS check in 30 seconds, why can’t we buy handguns across state lines and walk out with them ?

  6. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    It sounds as if Gov. Greg Abbott is intending on violating the Constitutional rights of Texans,at a off the top count at least 7 amendments,Leftardism is a disease and it would appear to affect even supposed conservatives much like the plague.

  7. avatar CLarson says:

    Texas is not as unified as it pretends to be. I am sure Gov. Abbot is feeling intense pressure to “do something” to keep El Paso and southern Texas pacified. Football is an even more sacred tradition than guns in Texas and even that is fracturing during this moral panic. https://www.elpasotimes.com/story/sports/high-school/2019/08/15/plano-cancels-sept-6-football-game-eastwood-plano/2023850001/

    1. avatar GS650G says:

      Texas has seen invasions from Mexico, new Orleans, and the West coast for years now. The numbers are slipping statewide towards a blue state eventually.

  8. avatar Realist says:

    So tell me again why Google, Facebook and Twitter representatives were at the meeting? They’re a part of the problem not a means to a solution. Basically, they’re part of the enemy yet Abbott seeks answers from them and not the gun community itself?! Beware the wolf.

    1. avatar Country Boy says:

      Because they plan to monitor/discriminate against legal gun owners online, in any way possible and by any means., is how it looks to me.

    2. avatar Chief Censor says:

      The Texas government wants corporations to spy on Americans and create dossiers to use against them. This ties into the TAPS act and red flag laws. They will integrate with Texas’s police state.

  9. avatar Jason says:

    “The first altercation occurred in September 1835, when General Cos of the Mexican Army ordered men to confiscate a cannon from Gonzales. The people of Texas resisted, gaining control of the Alamo.” …

    “Santa Anna marched north to bring Texas back under Mexican control by a show of brute merciless force. His expedition posed challenges of manpower, logistics, supply, and strategy far beyond what he was prepared for, and it ended in disaster.”

    It’s almost like this had happened before, weird…

    1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      We never seem to learn the lessons of history,we just keep repeating them over and over.

  10. avatar GS650G says:

    Democrats want you disarmed. Republicans may or may not stop democrats from disarming you.
    Neither side is really comfortable with the Great Unwashed having firearms.

  11. avatar S.Crock says:

    For all the people who tell Californians to “just move,” realize that California is just a decade or so ahead of what is likely to hit your state. Nevada, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington weren’t safe from the influx of california voters. Texans beware, this is a battleground state now.

    1. avatar Jon Wain says:

      It’s over, they have already turned Austin into Little San Francisco. The locusts have come and Texas is on borrowed time.

  12. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

    If you are in or near PA our state legislature is holding hearings on Tuesday September 24 on red flag/’mental health laws and Wednesday September 25 on gun laws. Word is Bloomberg/Soros funded groups plan to pack the hearing rooms with the usual bused in paid shills and crowd us out presenting the appearanc eof only anti gun opinions. We are trying to counter them with as many pro gun people as possible at the state capital in Harrisburg those days.

    Details and planning here

    http://forum.pafoa.org/showthread.php?t=350906&p=4043007#post4043007

  13. I think the mean of everything is pretty clear where the Governor of Texas stands. He met with every architect who could help jump-start an “Authoritarian Police-State!” You want to wind-up like M Assachusetts, Texas !!! Believe me this is the start! Throw your governor, the Demo-Authoritarians, and ALL the GOP-RINO Globalists out of YOUR state! ALL out of the halls of Government! You can bet that those folks in the committee were Damn well think YOUR rally was being operated by ” extremists”! If YOU allow YOUR rights to slip away….Your gun rights organizations will look like the People’s Republic of M Assachusetts…Where the local/state police departments get to “control and cow 🐄 civil rights ” into submission! Where everyone is to afraid to speak out! Becuase THEY might lose THEIR License (LTC/FID card) and be branded an ” extremist” (Enemy of the State.) Where as The People’s Republic of M Assachusetts is a “licensed privilege STATE where no citizen can exercise THEIR lawful Constitutional Right WITHOUT local/state police permissions!” DON’T BECOME M ASSACHUSETTS!
    (Re: Remember! Its all about the “Authoritarianism, Vindictive Corporate Fascism, and Governmental Paternalism!)

  14. avatar ROBERT Powell says:

    the first thing that the communist left trys is to remove the resistance to removing the second amendment , then they will start trouble to get the police to get tough with the gun-owners,regardless of the fact that the left started the trouble ..and with the communist media’s help they will campaign to remove any firearms.. WITH NO MENTION OF THE FACT THE SHOOTERS WERE DEMOCRAT AND DOPED TO THE EYEBALLS. WITH PSYCOTROPIC DRUGS.

  15. avatar Rusty - Molon Labe - Chains says:

    Thinking of moving to Texas, though it didn’t work out well for one of my ancestors who went to Texas, and died at Goliad.

  16. avatar GunnyGene says:

    Abbott is seemingly getting squishier by the day. He should be careful, he could get squashed if he runs for office again.

  17. avatar Vlad Tepes says:

    Unfortunately without a Federal Law mandating back ground checks in all states a new Texas law would probably only slow down a determined psychopath from getting a gun from a State with lax laws. The Governor is correct when he says the second hand gun market is available to every crook and psychopath that wants one. Even a Moron can see he is correct.

    1. avatar Hank says:

      You aught to lose weight before you’re allowed to talk politics.

    2. avatar Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately without a Federal Law mandating back ground checks in all states a new Texas law would probably only slow down a determined psychopath from getting a gun from a State with lax laws.

      1). The only reason background check laws exist at all on a federal level is because of the regulation of interstate commerce. They invoked the commerce clause to get it passed. Sales between individuals of the same state is zero business of the federal government. Zero business at all.

      2). Even if all guns underwent a background check the psychopath would still be able to get a gun. They can even get them in the UK, with all the gun control a person like you could want:

      https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-39578500

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/dec/27/police-struggle-to-stop-flood-of-firearms-into-uk

      Reality refutes your utopian pipe dream ideas where the government takes care of you like a nanny with gun control.

      The Governor is correct when he says the second hand gun market is available to every crook and psychopath that wants one. Even a Moron can see he is correct.

      And they would still be available even with you gun control in place.

      1. avatar vlad tepes says:

        WRONG; The Terrorist Bridge incident proved Britain’s gun laws worked very well indeed because the terrorists could not even get shotguns so they used knives and had the shit beat out of them by the bar patrons who used chairs and broken beer bottles.

    3. avatar Vlad's dad says:

      When he was thirteen years old, the boy once spent four hours arguing with his mother. He wanted to buckle his belt around his waist before he put his pants on. When he calls you a moron, he is just trying to acknowledge your intellectual superiority.

      1. avatar Yellow Devil says:

        Lol

      2. avatar Hank says:

        😂 now that was funny. Keep em coming!

    4. avatar Jon Wain says:

      Only a moron would willingly tolerate more infringements on his rights.

      1. avatar vlad tepes says:

        Only a Moron or mentally ill person would tolerate weekly mass murder and school shootings.

        1. avatar Jon Wain says:

          Only a moron or mentally ill person would believe the media propaganda that there are “weekly” mass murders or school shootings and accept that as an excuse to have his civil rights trampled on. Not sure if you are literally retarded or just a shameless, lying propagandist. But either way, you are certainly a worthless sack of dog shit.

        2. avatar Vlad's dad says:

          When the boy was 15 years old, another judge ordered him into therapy. He broke the therapist in two sessions flat. The poor woman asked him to think about how other people felt when he called them a moron. He took this to mean that if he called enough people a moron, he could double his own IQ. After just 2 fifty minute sessions, all she could do was cry, shake her head and say “no, no, no, no, no, noooooo…”.

          I have to admit, the thought of doubling his IQ was a pipe dream of mine for many years. It was difficult to let go of the hope that some day the boy might qualify as a half-wit.

  18. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    The best way to deal with this problem is to put 2A education back into the public school system. Make it socially acceptable to have a gun in your home. Teach 2A ownership and responsibility.
    I don’t know of any so called 2A support group that is actively working to put 2A civil rights education and shooting teams back into the public schools. We aren’t teaching children about their civil right to Arms.

    I like the interaction here. It was passionate but civil. The bible is about guns, and many other things as well. It’s past time we bring this into the discussion. The Problem is atheist gun owners AND uncomfortable christians are in the way, of an honest interaction.

  19. avatar NORDNEG says:

    Civil War # 2 will be a coming , This one will be for the future of the United States…🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

    1. avatar Country Boy says:

      Agreed…but the 1st one was for the future of America too IMO……

      I believe this 2nd one will truly put us “adrift in a sea of blood” worst than the last one. I have ancestors that fought in the American Revolution, War of 1812, Civil War, WWI and WWII as well as Vietnam.
      At least 10 of my ancestors fought in the 1st Civil War. They were Rebels. If it occurs in my lifetime, I feel obligated to fight for my rights in the coming one. But I hope and pray it doesn’t come to a War Between the States again..(and NO I’m not a democrat.)

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email