Texas Lawmakers Talk About Expanding Gun Rights Day After Mass Shooting

|
May 18, 2015 4:23 p.m.

The day after a mass shooting between rival biker gangs in Texas left nine people dead, lawmakers in the state discussed a bill on Monday that would allow licensed gun owners to openly carry their weapons in public.

The bill, heard on Monday before the Senate state affairs committee, was expected to pass and reach Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), the Associated Press reported.

Previously, Abbott has said he supported an open carry law. His office did not immediately return TPM’s request for comment about whether the shooting would change things.

Assistant Chief Troy Gay from the Austin Police Department spoke during the hearing and made mention of Sunday’s shooting in Waco when he said open carry would have confused and complicated the efforts of law enforcement during “chaotic situations.”

Newsletters
Get TPM in your inbox, twice weekly.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

“Officers responded very quickly but open carry would or could have potentially caused more confusion for officers responding to this type of situation,” Gay said.

An activist for the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which is part of the organization created by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, urged the committee to vote against the bill. She said that while she’s a gun owner and has enrolled her son in shooting lessons, she doesn’t support the open carry bill because it’s unsafe and irresponsible.

The hearing came a day after two biker gangs took part in a shootout at Twin Peaks restaurant, which left nine dead and more than a dozen wounded, the Associated Press reported on Monday. About 170 bikers were taken into custody after the shooting.

Erika Soto Lamb, a spokeswoman for Everytown for Gun Safety, mentioned the Waco, Texas shooting in an email to TPM:

“We don’t currently have a campaign on Twin Peaks but we are opposed to any establishment that serves alcohol allowing any firearms,” communications director Erika Lamb said. “Guns and alcohol just don’t mix.”

Latest Livewire
Comments are now Members-Only

Non-members are still able to read comments, but will no longer be able to participate. To join the conversation, sign up now and get:

30% Off Annual Prime Membership

TPM strives to build as inclusive a community as financially possible. We offer FREE memberships to those experiencing financial hardship and FREE memberships for students.

View all options
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Audience Development Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: