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Texas Moms Demand Action, Everytown Respond to Texas Safety Action Report Released by Governor Abbott in Response to Mass Shootings in El Paso And Odessa

September 12, 2019

Texas Moms Demand Action Volunteers Urged the Governor to Recommend Requiring Background Checks on All Gun Sales and a Strong Red Flag Law

Last Week, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick Showed Support for Strengthening Background Checks

AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the following statement in response to Governor Abbott’s release of the Texas Safety Action Report, following the conclusion of the Texas Safety Commission. Among other recommendations, the report calls for the legislature to consider ways to encourage private sellers of firearms to voluntarily perform background checks, but it does not recommend legislation that would require background checks on all gun sales.

“Texans are sick and tired of politicians who lack the courage to stand firmly behind policies that are proven to save lives, ” said Molly Bursey, volunteer leader with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Lawmakers must support mandatory background checks on all gun sales and a strong Red Flag law. The fact is, private sellers already have the option to conduct background checks. As we saw in Odessa, it’s not working. It’s time for the legislature to take bold, necessary action to address our gun violence crisis, or face the consequences come election day.” 

Texas state law currently does not require background checks on unlicensed gun sales, a loophole that has deadly consequences. The shooter who killed seven people and wounded 25 last month in Odessa, Texas, purchased the assault-style weapon used in the shooting through a private, or unlicensed, seller and avoided undergoing a background check. Prior to the sale, the shooter failed a background check when he attempted to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer.

Volunteers with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America urged Governor Abbott and the Texas Safety Commission established last month to recommend legislation requiring background checks on all gun sales and a strong Red Flag law, policies that are proven to save lives and enjoy bipartisan support. 

Last week, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick called for stronger background checks on gun sales, a policy supported by 95 percent of American voters nationwide. A report from Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund showed that in 2018 alone, there were as many as 60,362 ads on offering guns for sale in Texas with no background check required. More information on background checks is available here.

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