After El Paso massacre, Abbott signaled openness to gun control. Some worry he’s moved on

After El Paso massacre, Abbott signaled openness to gun control. Some worry he's moved on

Texas Tribune In August 2019, Texas was devastated by the back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso and Midland-Odessa that left 30 people dead and dozens more injured. The massacres were so shocking and gruesome that it moved the state’s two top Republicans to do what was previously unthinkable — talk about gun control. Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick met with lawmakers over the course of several weeks and publicly expressed an openness to at least one gun control proposal that could for the first time in more than decade make it harder for someone in Texas to buy a firearm, instead of easier. But, laying out his legislative priorities this week for the first session since the shootings took place, Abbott stressed protections for gun owners and made no mention of the 2019 shootings. “We need to erect a complete barrier against any government official anywhere from treading on gun rights in Texas," Abbott said, adding that he was pushing to make Texas a “Second Amendment sanctuary state.” The absence of any mention of the mass shootings rankled gun control advocates and state lawmakers from El Paso, who see this legislative session as their best chance to advance the very measures Abbott and Patrick expressed support for in 2019. “To not bring up El Paso, which is the most heinous act of race-based terrorism in the state’s modern history … is a disservice to the memory of those folks in El Paso, Odessa … and other […]

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