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Texas Voters: Elected Officials Haven’t Done Enough to Prevent Gun Violence

February 3, 2020

A new poll from the Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler found that a majority of Texans support common-sense gun laws and don’t believe elected officials have done enough to prevent mass shootings. The poll comes six months after the deadly shooting in El Paso that left 22 people killed and 24 people injured. 

The Dallas Morning News’ Allison Morris writes

“Texans strongly support expanding background checks for gun purchases and laws that let police remove guns from people deemed by a judge to be dangerous. 

‘There’s overwhelming majority support and that is across-the-board bipartisan,’ said Kenneth Bryant Jr., an assistant political science professor at the University of Texas at Tyler who conducted the poll. 


Though the poll found support for expanded background checks and red flag laws, those policies have gained little traction in the Republican-led legislature, which has opted in past years to make it easier for Texans to carry weapons in schools and houses of worship.”

Six months after a shooting in Virginia Beach left 12 people dead and four people injured, Virginia state legislators who failed to support gun safety were voted out of office by a bloc of largely suburban voters who cited gun safety as their top issue.

Much like in Virginia, Texas state legislators have refused to take action to reduce gun violence, even following devastating mass shootings in El Paso and Odessa/Midland. With 86% of registered Texas voters supporting background checks on all gun sales, gun safety will unquestionably be a top issue for Texas voters entering a contentious election cycle. 

Gun violence kills over 3,100 Texans in an average year – and from 2008 to 2017, the rate of gun deaths in Texas increased by 14%. Learn more about gun violence in Texas here.

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