As the legislature in Austin returns for its first session since the mass shootings in El Paso and Midland-Odessa, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has vowed to do everything he can to defend gun rights in the state, the Fort-Worth Star-Telegram reported on Monday.
Abbott promised “to erect a complete barrier against any government office anywhere from treading on gun rights in Texas. Texas must be a Second Amendment sanctuary state.”
The governor, whose state has 3,000 people a year killed by a gun, said that “Politicians from the federal level to the local level have shouted: ‘Heck yes, the government is coming to get your guns,’” but vowed that “we won’t let that happen in Texas.”
When asked about measures offered by gun safety advocates such as “red flag” laws or universal background checks, Abbott emphasized that “the goal that I’m seeking to achieve is to do the maximum to protect Second Amendment Rights.”
He elaborated on what he meant by a Second Amendment sanctuary state, telling the Star-Telegram.that “It would be a law that would prohibit any … state or local government official from doing anything to implement any law, state or federal, that would take guns away from any Texan.”
Some gun advocates and legislators who favor gun safety measures were let down that Abbott played up Second Amendment rights while not even mentioning the recent mass shootings.
Democrat state Rep. Chris Turner said, “There was frankly a time where there was some decent bipartisan conversation going on around some of those issues in the wake of the mass shootings in El Paso and Odessa in 2019. So, it’s unfortunate the governor hasn’t sought to continue that.”
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