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 statement after three police officers were shot and wounded near downtown Houston.
“Our hearts are with these officers, who put their lives on the line to keep our communities safe,” said Karin Knapp, a volunteer with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Law enforcement across the state warned us that weak gun laws put them in more danger, and I’m afraid their warnings could be coming true.”
After permitless carry passed in Texas, License to Carry applications have decreased, recently reaching a seven-year low, while handgun sales continue to rise – indicating that there are likely more untrained, unvetted people carrying handguns in public. Before the House voted on permitless carry, law enforcement officials joined gun safety instructors to hold a press conference urging lawmakers to oppose permitless carry. Before permitless carry passed, doctors, law enforcement officials, leaders in the fight against domestic violence, and other advocates called on their senators to reject the deadly policy, as did the editorial boards of the Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, and San Antonio Express-News.
When Governor Abbott signed permitless carry, Texas Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers hosted #AbbottFailedTexas protests in Dallas, Austin, Houston, El Paso, and San Antonio against permitless carry. 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. Lawmakers in Texas also failed to devote funding from the American Rescue Plan towards community violence intervention programs.
Everytown’s interactive gun law platform – which shows the direct correlation between the strength of a state’s gun laws – is available here. The tool shows that Texas scores 13.5 out of 100 for gun law strength while maintaining a gun death rate above the national average. More information about gun violence in Texas is available here.