Despite pressure from gun-rights activists, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is standing by his calls for gun control.
Last week, Patrick took heat from conservatives after telling a Dallas-area paper he was “willing to take an arrow” to lead Texas towards adopting gun-control measures, such as government background checks for private firearm sales. That comment drew heavy criticism from Second Amendment advocates, including the National Rifle Association who compared Patrick’s proposals to the “same broken, Bloomberg-funded failures that were attempted under the Obama administration.”
But despite receiving flak, Patrick appears to be charging ahead with his plan.
In an email to supporters Sunday night, Patrick did not back away from calls for expanding background checks, saying it’s “the right thing to do.”
“I am sorry that some of my allies in the battle to protect our Second Amendment rights are angry about this—but … the National Rifle Association is just wrong on this,” said Patrick. “Their refusal to compromise on this issue will only hurt our long-term defense of the Second Amendment.”
Patrick went on to justify his position by pointing to poll numbers which he says show a majority of Americans are in favor of expanding background checks.
Teresa Beckmeyer, the Texas Operations Director for Gun Owners of America, retorted on Twitter that “nothing good will come from legislating based on polling instead of the Constitution.”
Nothing good will come from legislating based on polling instead of the Constitution. Texas Republican leadership needs to remember this.
— Teresa Beckmeyer (@TeresaBeckmeyer) September 9, 2019
Meanwhile, over the weekend, some on social media—including Baytown-area activist Byron Schirmbeck and former State Rep. Matt Rinaldi—took notice of a 2015 campaign email from Gov. Greg Abbott criticizing executive action taken by then-President Barack Obama to expand background checks, in which he asked supporters to sign a petition if they “agree with Governor Abbott when he says, ‘Come and Take It.’”
“Can we assume he has the same message for Dan Patrick proposing a broader plan?” asked Rinaldi.
Website for @GregAbbott_TX states opposition to Obama’s executive action expanding background checks to trusts and those “in the business” of selling guns & says “Come And Take It”. Can we assume he has the same message for @DanPatrick proposing a broader plan? #2A #tcot #txlege pic.twitter.com/5k3eOOo47n
— Matt Rinaldi (@MattRinaldiTX) September 7, 2019
As Patrick continues his campaign for expanded background checks, eyes will be on Abbott this week as he prepares to release directives to the legislature regarding gun violence. It is not yet known at this time if those will include expanded background checks, “red-flag” laws, or other proposals currently being championed by Democrats amid ongoing efforts to confiscate guns and circumvent due process measures.
Abbott has not responded to a request for comment.