On Saturday, all 62 members of the State Republican Executive Committee (SREC) voted to approve two resolutions opposing “red flag” laws and expanded background checks.
Another resolution began with, “Whereas, the Democrats are exploiting public emotion over recent mass shootings to advance pet gun control proposals such as Extreme Risk Protective Orders (Red Flag) and Enhanced Background Checks (EBCs),” and went on to argue why such proposals would be ineffective.
It concluded by calling on members of the Texas congressional delegation and the Texas Legislature to “firmly reject” EBCs and red flag laws as “nothing but cleverly devised infringements of the God-given and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.”
“We don’t need more laws, we need more enforcement,” said Anne Gebhart, who represents Senate District 9 for the Republican Party. “I’m not in favor of red flag laws, and I think we need to be careful of policies that allow people to harass others for a differing viewpoint, worldview, or political philosophy.”
Both GOP resolutions are to be sent to all state and federal elected Republicans.
Last month, in response to the shootings in El Paso and Odessa, the House Democratic Caucus pushed for several gun control policies, including red flag laws and EBCs.
Some Republican officials had also been considering such proposals.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick broke from the National Rifle Association (NRA), arguing that they were wrong for not expanding background checks to cover “stranger to stranger” transfers.
While there has been much talk about such proposals, no official action has been taken at the state level to enact the policies.
The Texas Safety Action Report released by Gov. Greg Abbott last week did not include any mandates for red flag laws or EBCs, but only recommended that the legislature consider ways to make it easier for private sellers to voluntarily conduct background checks.
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Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. He participated in a Great Books program at Azusa Pacific University and graduated in 2019 with a degree in Political Science. He has studied C.S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy and in his spare time you might find him writing his own novel partly inspired by the series.