Texas was a top priority for gun control groups in the 2020 election, with organizations like Everytown for Gun Safety spending millions of dollars on targeted races in an attempt to flip the state House from Republican to Democrat control. In the months before the election, gun control advocates confidently talked up their prospects in November, comparing the Lone Star State to Virginia, where the conventional wisdom is that Democrats were able to take complete control of the state legislature in 2019 thanks in part to the financial backing of Michael Bloomberg.
The gun banners were completely caught off guard on Election Day, when the Blue Wave failed to materialize and Republicans easily maintained their control of the state House and Senate. The prospects for gun control in Texas were never going to be good, even if the House fell to anti-gun forces, but the bills that Democrats have just introduced for the 2021 session are part of the reason why Democrats weren’t able to take back the House in the first place. Most Texans aren’t on board with these kinds of proposals.
- House Bill 52 & House Bill 245 BANNING private firearms sales at gun shows.
- House Bill 118 BANNING private firearms transfers between certain family members and friends, requiring FFLs to process these transactions that would include federal paperwork for government approval at an undetermined fee.
- House Bill 127 BANNING long gun open carry with limited exceptions.
- House Bill 164 & House Bill 395 red flag GUN CONFISCATION legislation requiring firearms surrender without due process.
- House Bill 172 & House Bill 241 BANNING the sale or transfer and possession of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms.
- House Bill 178 & House Bill 234 BANNING the sale or transfer and possession of standard capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.
- House Bill 185 MANDATING firearms to be stored in locked gun cases, safes or cabinets.
- House Bill 196 REPEALING key elements of Texas’ Castle Doctrine law, including stand your ground and no-duty-to-retreat.
- House Bill 201 REPEALING Texas’ Campus Carry law.
- House Bill 231 RAISING THE MINIMUM AGE for purchase of semi-automatic rifles and shotguns.
- House Bill 236 GUTTING the “30.06 and 30.07” signage requirements for businesses and making it easier for establishments to ban License To Carry holders from their premises.
- House Bill 238 REPEALING the state firearms preemption law and allowing local governments to restrict guns as they please.
Many of the same Democrats who’ve introduced these bills will also be offering up legislation to “reimagine policing” and reduce incarceration, and they won’t even realize the contradiction in their proposals. Think about how many legal gun owners would be turned into criminals with the passage of these bills, simply for something like loaning a gun to a neighbor because she’s concerned that her ex might try to hurt her, or possessing the most commonly-owned center fire rifle in the country.
The attacks on legal, law-abiding gun owners at a time when violent crime is on the rise across the country is an absolutely idiotic political decision, and one that will cost Democrats at the polls in 2022 in crucial suburban and swing districts. As a conservative, it’s fine with me if they want to make that mistake, but as a gun owner I’d like to see both parties acknowledge that legal gun owners aren’t the problem, that the Second Amendment protects a real and fundamental right to keep and bear arms, and that any successful effort to reduce violent crime has to focus on the relatively small number of criminals among us instead of the large number of legally owned guns.
Clearly we’re not there yet. Instead, Texas Democrats have given us a preview of things to come if and when gun control activists have the power to enact their agenda. It’s up to us to use our voice and our vote to ensure it doesn’t happen.