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Statement by Moms Demand Action Founder, Shannon Watts, on Wendy Davis’s Open Carry Announcement

February 6, 2014

wendy-davisEarlier today, Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis announced that she supports new laws that would allow Texans to openly carry loaded firearms in public. Davis’s position is disappointing and dangerous given that there is no federal or state requirement for background checks on private gun sales in Texas, making it easy for felons and other dangerous criminals, including domestic abusers, to get guns.

In November, while several members of Moms Demand Action gathered in a restaurant outside Dallas, nearly 40 open carry activists stood in the parking lot with long guns – including semi-automatic rifles – waiting for our mom members to leave the restaurant. This episode of intimidation illustrates clearly that with rights come responsibilities, and passing background checks on all gun sales should be the priority before passing laws that allow open carry.

Davis has voiced her support for background checks – this past September she said, ‘If I were governor and a bill came to my desk that provided for background checks at gun shows, I would sign that.’ And just this week the commissioners of Travis County, Texas, stood up for background checks at gun shows in their county.

As a mother, as an elected official, and as a champion of survivors of domestic abuse victims, we expect State Senator Davis to do the same and close the background check loophole to protect Texas families.

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