Texas House Democrats are claiming that Gov. Abbott is backing a radical gun control bill they supported in 2017.
At a press conference in Dallas on Wednesday, Gov. Greg Abbott outlined several proposals for new gun safety measures in the wake of the Santa Fe shooting earlier this month.
Included in his proposals, Abbott asked the legislature to study during the interim a bill to create “mental health protective orders,” that would “keep guns out of the hands of those mentally unfit to bear arms, but only after legal due process is allowed to ensure Second Amendment rights are not violated.”
Shortly after Abbott’s conference, the Texas House Democrat Caucus called the Abbott’s charge a victory, saying that Abbott had called for the passage of House Bill 866, a bill filed last year by El Paso Democrat State Rep. Joe Moody.
Moody’s bill is a far-reaching anti-gun bill that stomps on the Second Amendment. If adopted, any household member or a prosecuting attorney could file an application asking a court to confiscate a person’s firearms. The court could then order all of the person’s firearms be seized, without a hearing and without notice to the accused.
The order could then be extended for up to two years without the case ever being submitted to a jury, and without any right of appeal. The accused would only be entitled to a hearing before a judge just 14 days after their firearms were initially seized, allowing little time for the person to find an attorney to represent them. At that hearing, the court would be required to take into account the accused person’s history of not just convictions but also arrests under a variety of laws, including any misdemeanor involving violence.
Notably, Moody’s bill calls on the court to issue its initial “ex parte” confiscation order if it finds “reasonable cause” to do so. That standard is even less than the probable cause standard required for police to place a person under arrest.
“Put simply, Moody’s legislation is in complete contradiction with the very notion of “due process” and must be opposed by any legislator who takes their oath to the United States and Texas constitutions seriously,” said Tony McDonald, general counsel to Empower Texans.
Last session Moody failed to get the bill out of his own committee leading him to lash out at the bill’s Republican opponents and characterize their opposition was fierce and dishonest.
Texas Scorecard has reached out to Abbott’s office for comment but none was immediately returned.
This article will be updated should he respond to Democrat claims he is backing their legislation.