Two Sheriff’s Deputies were Shot and Killed in the Line of Duty and an Eden City Employee was Shot and Wounded
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 statements after two sheriff’s deputies – Deputy Samuel Leonard and Sgt. Stephen Jones – were shot and killed in the line of duty, and an Eden city employee was shot and wounded in Concho County.
“Our hearts break for the families of all those devastated by this shooting, and with the two law enforcement officers who were shot and killed in the line of duty,” said Miste Hower, a volunteer with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action. “It’s crushing to think that while police officers lay down their lives to protect us, our lawmakers are ignoring their opposition to permitless carry bills that will make their jobs even more dangerous.”
“As we know from scripture, faith without works is dead,” said Rev. Deanna Hollas, Gun Violence Prevention Ministry Coordinator, Presbyterian Peace Fellowship. “So I will pair my prayers for all impacted by this terrible shooting with action to prevent further gun violence by opposing these dangerous permitless carry bills. I beg our lawmakers – especially those praying for Deputy Leonard and Sergeant Jones’ families – to do the same.”
Governor Abbott, who indicated that he would sign permitless carry legislation in the face of widespread law enforcement opposition, tweeted his support for Deputy Leonard and Sgt. Jones’ families. Last week, despite law enforcement opposition, the Texas Senate advanced HB 1927, a dangerous permitless carry bill that would strip the state of essential permitting and training standards for carrying handguns in public. The bill would allow people to carry loaded handguns in public without a background check or any safety training, dismantling the culture of responsible gun ownership that Texas’s License to Carry (LTC) helps promote.
Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers from as far away as Sutherland Springs and El Paso drove to Austin to testify in the newly-created Senate Committee on Constitutional Affairs hearing on the bills. Before the House vote, law enforcement officials joined gun safety instructors to hold a press conference urging lawmakers to oppose permitless carry. Last Tuesday, doctors, law enforcement officials, leaders in the fight against domestic violence, and other advocates called on their senators to reject permitless carry, as have the editorial boards of the Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, and San Antonio Express-News. 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.
More on HB 1927:
- HB 1927 would allow a person to carry an open or concealed handgun without a permit. This would make Texas one of the few states where it is legal to carry a concealed handgun in public without a permit and would dismantle the culture of responsible gun ownership that Texas’s License to Carry (LTC) helps promote.
- Texas law currently requires a person to obtain a criminal background check and complete firearms safety training, including live-fire training, in order to obtain an LTC. HB 1927 would eliminate these safeguards, allowing unvetted and untrained people to carry handguns in public.