I’m proud of Texas’ long tradition of responsible gun ownership. Like millions of Texans, my family taught me how to safely and responsibly use firearms—and I passed those teachings onto my own children.
To uphold that tradition, we must change how easy it is for people to use firearms irresponsibly in this state. Over 4,000 Texans are killed by gun violence every year. Women in Texas are 24 percent more likely to be murdered with a gun than women in other states. And four of the worst mass shootings in American history have taken place right here in Texas in just the past decade.
Instead of working with Texans to address these challenges, Governor Abbott ignored the advice of law enforcement when he signed the dangerous permitless carry law that makes it easy for criminals to carry a loaded gun in public without any background check, training, or permit.
When I’m governor, we will repeal permitless carry.
And while it might not be the easy or politically safe thing to say, I don’t believe any civilian should own an AR-15 or AK-47. When a gunman drove to a Walmart in my hometown of El Paso and managed to kill nearly two dozen of my neighbors with an AK-47 in under three minutes, it made it all too clear to me that it is far too easy for Texans to get their hands on weapons of war that are designed specifically to kill people in masses in as little time as possible.
Preventing tragedies like these will require making progress on commonsense solutions that most Texans agree on. For instance:
- Closing the private sale background check loophole may have prevented the 2019 Midland-Odessa shooting;
- An effective red flag law system may have prevented the 2019 El Paso shooting;
- Effective safe storage and child access prevention laws may have prevented the 2018 Santa Fe shooting;
- And stronger domestic violence reporting laws may have prevented the 2017 Sutherland Springs shooting.
As Texans, we can move forward on these reforms. We can protect the Second Amendment while also protecting our friends, family members, and neighbors from gun violence. Our lives depend on it.