Former Texas GOP Rep. Will Hurd, who represented Uvalde until last year, tore into both Republicans and Democrats for offering too much lip service and not enough action on gun control.
‘We are not helpless, and if the people we elect to address our country’s tough challenges think nothing can or should be done beyond thoughts, prayers and complaining about the filibuster, then it’s time we help them find a new career,’ the former congressman said.
Nineteen children and two teachers were killed by an 18-year-old gunman in Hurd’s former district almost two weeks ago.
‘Neither horrifying headlines nor stunning statistics have generated substantial legislative action,’ Hurd wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times Monday, adding that 1,565 children have been killed in mass shootings since 2009.
Hurd said he believed in the ‘plain language of the Second Amendment’ and touted his A rating from the NRA throughout his time in Congress. He also noted that he was one of only 8 Republicans to vote for legislation that would have required universal background checks, H.R. 8.
Former Texas GOP Rep. Will Hurd, who represented Uvalde until last year, tore into both Republicans and Democrats for offering too much lip service and not enough action on gun control
Nineteen children and two teachers were killed by an 18-year-old gunman in Hurd’s former district almost two weeks ago
The bill made it through the House but was tabled in the Senate, and Hurd called for its passing in the upper chamber.
‘Removing access to guns won’t stop this epidemic, but as the tragedy in Uvalde proved, neither would a myopic and unyielding obsession with putting more guns into our schools,’ Hurd said.
Hurd also said the age to buy a semi-automatic weapon that holds high-capacity magazines should be raised from 18 to 21, the same as it is to purchase a handgun, and that Congress should pass ‘red flag’ legislation similar to what Republican Sen. Rick Scott signed into law when he was governor of Florida, both of which the House is expected to pass this week.
Red flag laws allow law enforcement to take away firearms from people who a court has deemed a danger to themselves or others.
Mourners visit a memorial at Robb Elementary School created to honor the victims killed in the recent school shooting, Friday, June 3
The gunman who took out 21 at Robb Elementary had legally bought the firearm he used days before
‘Had H.R. 8 been signed into law, it would not have prevented the carnage in Uvalde — the murderer passed a background check,’ Hurd said. ‘Had the age to purchase a semiautomatic weapon been 21, it certainly wouldn’t have prevented Sandy Hook because the killer stole weapons, but it might have prevented Uvalde.’
Hurd, an ex-CIA undercover officer, was the only black Republican in the House but did not seek re-election in 2020. The district is now represented by Republican Tony Gonzalez.
Asked if he supported legislation for stronger background checks or red flag laws, Gonzalez said in a local TV news interview over the weekend: ‘I think everything’s on the table.’
However he said he does not support the series of eight bills making their way through the House because they ‘largely have nothing to do with Uvalde.’
‘This week in Washington, you’re going to see the Democrats roll out eight bills, and these bills largely have nothing to do with Uvalde. Look, HR 130, what it does is it federalizes how you store a firearm, nothing to do with Uvalde. HR 748, that federalizes gun safety locks, has nothing to do with Uvalde,’ he said to KENS 5.
But among the bills is also legislation to raise the age to own a semiautomatic weapon to 21 and ban high-capacity ammo magazines, prohibit the sales of ‘ghost gun’ kits with no serial numbers and requiring gun owners to safely store their weapons.
The House will also vote on red flag legislation that would incentivize more states to enact legislation that would allow law enforcement to take away weapons from people who a court has deemed to be a threat to themselves or others.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has also promised to bring up a vote on an outright ban of assault weapons, though it’s not clear if she has the votes to get it through.
All of this legislation is likely to fail in the split Senate, but Sens. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., and John Cornyn, R-Texas, are drafting a more narrow plan that could include enhanced background checks, red flag laws, and mental health resources.