IssuesStatewide NewsRed Flag Laws, Enhanced Background Checks Unanimously Condemned in Texas GOP Resolutions

The 62-member State Republican Executive Committee affirmed a resolution unanimously opposing red flag laws and enhanced background checks in a message to party leaders.
September 16, 2019
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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.

One resolution listed and reaffirmed 11 planks of the 2018 Republican Party of Texas Platform related to firearms and called on elected officials to support policies consistent with those planks.

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.”

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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

Daniel Friend

Daniel Friend is a reporter for The Texan. While recently finishing his degree in Political Science from Azusa Pacific University, he also interned in the U.S. Senate and co-authored a book on C. S. Lewis’s science fiction trilogy. In his spare time, he might be reading up on Dostoevsky or attempting to write a novel.