Texas Governor Strives for the State to Be a Second Amendment Sanctuary
Over the past 10 years, the state of Texas has seen seven mass shootings, which in the aftermath of the tragedy led to conversations from lawmakers about the state’s gun laws. In August 2019, the state was devastated by back-to-back shootings in El Paso and Odessa, the likes of which left 30 people dead and dozens more injured. According to reports from the Poynter Institute, over 3,000 people are killed with a gun each year in Texas. Citizens are divided over how gun control should be handled in the state, with 40-50 percent of University of Texas poll participants stating that they want stricter gun control throughout the state. With requests like these, one may be concerned that weapons charges may become more stringent yet Governor Greg Abbott begs to differ.
A Second Amendment Sanctuary
Over the past several weeks, Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick have met with state lawmakers and publicly expressed their willingness to consider at least one gun control proposal which could make it more challenging for Texans to buy firearms. Yet Gov. Abbott’s words during the first 2021 legislative session reveals different priorities. According to the governor, he believes that the state needs to “erect a complete barrier against any government official anywhere from treading on gun rights in Texas.” He did not mention last year’s deadly mass shootings in El Paso and Odessa, but following those tragedies, Gov. Abbott raised concerns about Texas laws that allow private gun sales between strangers without proper background checks. Additionally, he recommended several ideas on how to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not possess them, including banning “straw purchases.” These currently legal purchases allow someone to purchase a gun for another person. In regards to stranger-to-stranger sales, Gov. Abbott did not push for mandatory background checks, but rather suggested ways that the legislature could make it “easy, affordable, and beneficial for a private seller of firearms to voluntarily use background checks when selling firearms to strangers.”
At least 19 gun violence prevention bills have been filed in this first session, many of which have been written from the governor’s recommendations. State Sen. César Blanco has also taken a strong, active role on the subject matter. He has filed bills that aim to keep weapons out of criminals’ hands and require background checks for private gun sales. Other filed legislation includes implementing “red flag” laws that allow courts to order the surrender or seizure of weapons from individuals who are considered dangerous as well as stronger restrictions on assault weapons.
Contact a Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer
The bills explained above have yet to be passed, although the high number of mass shootings throughout the state may prompt more conservative-leaning lawmakers to vote in favor of the stricter regulations. Because Texas has fairly lenient weapon laws, it is imperative that you are informed of any recent updates to these laws to avoid facing criminal charges for actions that were previously deemed legal throughout the state. The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. helps those facing weapons charges defend their Second Amendment rights. Our distinguished criminal defense lawyer has secured more than 300 not-guilty verdicts and acquittals for her clients throughout her legal career. If you are facing weapons charges, contact our diligent Tarrant County criminal defense attorney at 214-303-9600 to schedule your free consultation.