AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement after the National Rifle Association announced today they are endorsing Governor Greg Abbott for re-election.
“NRA-backed policies like permitless carry and NRA-backed candidates like Governor Abbott are endangering police officers, communities, and public safety across the country,” said Elizabeth Hanks, a volunteer with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Any candidate who parades the NRA’s endorsement and supports their policies while proclaiming to support public safety is a hypocrite, plain and simple, and we’ll make sure the NRA’s stamp of ‘approval’ will come back to haunt Governor Abbott.”
After permitless carry passed in Texas, License to Carry applications have decreased, recently reaching a seven-year low, while handgun sales continue to rise – indicating that there are likely more untrained, unvetted people carrying handguns in public. Before the House voted on permitless carry, law enforcement officials joined gun safety instructors to hold a press conference urging lawmakers to oppose permitless carry. Before permitless carry passed, doctors, law enforcement officials, leaders in the fight against domestic violence, and other advocates called on their senators to reject the deadly policy, as did the editorial boards of the Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, and San Antonio Express-News.
When Governor Abbott signed permitless carry, Texas Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers hosted #AbbottFailedTexas protests in Dallas, Austin, Houston, El Paso, and San Antonio against permitless carry. Poll after poll has shown widespread opposition to permitless carry legislation and support for requiring permits to carry guns in public. Nearly 60 faith leaders and nearly 30 veterans sent separate letters to the legislature announcing their opposition to this dangerous policy.
Everytown’s interactive gun law platform – which shows the direct correlation between the strength of a state’s gun laws and its rate of gun violence – is available here. The tool shows that Texas scores 13.5 out of 100 for gun law strength while maintaining a gun death rate above the national average. In an average year, 3,647 people die and 9,173 are wounded by guns in Texas. Gun violence costs Texas $23.7 billion each year, of which $1 billion is paid by taxpayers. More information about gun violence in Texas is available here.