The nation’s largest pro-Second Amendment organization had choice words for one of Texas’ top elected officials.
Friday afternoon, just two days following the formation of the Texas Senate’s newly assembled Select Committee on Mass Violence Prevention and Community Safety, the National Rifle Association issued a scathing statement on Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s new gun-control proposal.
Patrick reportedly told a Dallas-area newspaper he was “willing to take an arrow” from Second Amendment advocates like the NRA to lead Texas towards adopting gun-control measures.
“Look, I’m a solid NRA guy,” Patrick reportedly told the paper, “but not expanding the background check to eliminate the stranger to stranger sale makes no sense to me and … most folks.”
The NRA responded in kind, comparing Patrick’s policies to those of former New York Mayor and notorious gun-grabber Michael Bloomberg, even alluding to the policies of former President Barack Obama.
“With due respect, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s ‘proposals’ would resurrect the same broken, Bloomberg-funded failures that were attempted under the Obama administration,” the statement read. “Like most political gambits, Lt. Gov. Patrick’s ‘solution’ precedes his possession of the facts, including this critical concession by the Obama administration: Criminalizing private firearm transfers would require a massive, governmental gun registration scheme.”
— NRA (@NRA) September 6, 2019
At the time of publication, Patrick’s office had not yet responded to Texas Scorecard’s inquiries for comment.
The war of words between Patrick and the NRA comes in the wake of recent actions by Gov. Greg Abbott, who on Thursday issued a series of eight executive actions mostly geared at inter-governmental cooperation among state agencies, to better respond to and prevent tragedies like the mass shootings from recent weeks. Abbott has also called on Republicans to work on compromising with Democrats to pass legislation addressing the issue.
However, since then, liberal Democrats have demanded Abbott call a special session of the legislature to consider and pass sweeping gun-control proposals. The newly formed select committees will be hearing and discussing proposals for lawmakers to consider the next time they convene. Proposals like Patrick’s—a call for background checks on all transactions involving firearms—have led many Second Amendment rights activists to express fears over a statewide registry of gun owners if enforced and executed to its end.
Republicans nervous about the looming 2020 elections, which will determine who decides the redistricting process that follows them, have seemingly embraced the idea of gun control but are selling it as measured responses to curtailing gun violence. Their new tone is a deviation from previous years, when Republicans campaigned as Second Amendment champions.