- On Thursday, a mass shooting in Bryan, Texas, left one dead and several injured.
- Just hours before, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted his support of a “Second Amendment Sanctuary State” bill.
- The bill would make it so Texas authorities would not have to abide by federal gun control laws.
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Just hours before a mass shooting in Bryan, Texas, left one dead and multiple people injured, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted out that President Joe Biden was “threatening our Second Amendment rights” and attempting to “take away our guns.”
The shooting occurred at Kent Moore Cabinets on Thursday afternoon; one person was killed, while four others were critically injured, and one victim suffered non-critical injuries. One victim is a state trooper who helped chase down the suspect. A suspect – believed to be an employee of Kent Moore Cabinets – is in custody but has not yet been named by authorities.
Around noon on Thursday, Gov. Abbott took to Twitter to defend gun rights.
“Biden is threatening our Second Amendment rights,” the tweet read. “He just announced a new liberal power grab to take away our guns. We will NOT allow this in TX. It’s time to get legislation making TX a Second Amendment Sanctuary State passed and to my desk for signing.”
-Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 8, 2021
The “Second Amendment Sanctuary State” legislation Abbott is referring to is HB 2622, introduced in March, which calls to establish Texas as a “sanctuary” state in which federal gun laws cannot be enforced. The legislation is modeled off the sanctuary cities framework, in which cities could declare themselves sanctuaries within which Immigration and Customs Enforcement practices could not be enforced.
Abbott has repeatedly touted the sanctuary state bill, though in the past he’s signaled support for limited gun control. Following the 2019 mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart that left 23 people dead and scores of others injured, the governor said he would consider supporting more scrupulous background checks.
“Right now, there is nothing in the law that would prevent one stranger from selling a gun to a terrorist, and obviously that’s a danger that needs to be looked into,” Abbott said in 2019, the Texas Tribune reported.
Since then, however, Abbott has again picked up the mantle of gun rights.
“Last session, I signed 10 laws to protect gun rights in Texas,” he said in February. “This session we need to erect a complete barrier against any government office anywhere from treading on gun rights in Texas.”
Gun rights advocates like Abbott are bristling against a series of six executive orders Biden unveiled this week aimed at curbing gun violence, including actions to remove “ghost guns” from the streets and the regulation of gun accessories.
During a White House Rose Garden speech on the orders, Biden called the US epidemic of gun violence an “international embarrassment,” and said: “The idea that we have so many people dying every single day from gun violence in America is a blemish on our character.”
Following the shooting, Abbott tweeted that he was working with state law enforcement on a “swift response” and that he and his wife Cecilia “are praying for the victims & their families & for the injured officer.”
This is the 14th such mass shooting in the state since January 1. Thus far, there have been more than 100 mass shootings in the US since the beginning of the year.