Last Call for Mass Violence Committee Public Input
Texas who support gun rights need to write a statement and submit it to the Texas House Select Committee on Mass Violence Prevention and Community Safety. The deadline is October 16.
Here’s what’s happening . . .
Last year, deranged attackers struck El Paso and Odessa and took many precious lives. These horrific attacks were devastating to the communities and the families.
The attacks should have been a warning sign to Texas leadership that there are evil people in this world who want to destroy innocent lives. The best response to keep the community safe would be to encourage and enable honest citizens to carry a gun and be their own first defenders.
Unfortunately, Texas leadership has not fully acknowledged and acted on this truth. Instead, in the aftermath of the attacks, it convened committees and asked for public input on policies that would be more likely to disarm you and me instead of stopping attackers.
GOA members have responded to these Committees on Mass Violence Prevention & Community Safety with a clear message: We’re safest when we are free to keep and carry our guns. In both the in-person hearings held from September 2019 through January 2020 as well as the written comment periods held after coronavirus restrictions, GOA activists have dominated the scene.
Their sacrifices in showing up and speaking out have helped to preserve your rights. But the job is never over.
On October 1, the House Committee on Mass Violence again requested public input. This is likely your final chance this year to give your opinion—officially on the record—on topics including “extreme risk indicators” (part of red flag laws), the role of social media in threat detection, and how to keep guns away from prohibited people.
Take Action Now!
Please write a personal statement defending gun rights and submit it to the committee by next Friday, October 16, 2020, at 5pm.
You don’t need special training or experience. You simply need to have an opinion on the issues and write at least a few sentences explaining your thoughts.
Step One: Read the topics.
The Speaker of the House assigned the committee five topics, or “duties,” to study. Your statement must specifically address one or more of these topics. (See below for the full text of the topics.)
Step Two: Write your statement.
It doesn’t need to be long—in fact, legislators are more likely to read shorter statements. Include your personal experience and relevant stories. Tell the committee what you believe, why you believe it, and what you want them to do about it. (See below for talking points & examples of other people’s statements.)
Step Three: Submit your statement.
Put your statement in a Word document that is no more than 6 pages (including any pictures, data, charts, etc.). Include your name on it but NOT your address or other contact information.
Compose an email to Laramie Stroud, the committee coordinator, at [email protected]. Attach the Word document. In the body of the email, include your name, mailing address, phone number, and email address. In the subject line, write the duty # that you are addressing — for example, “Duty #’s 1, 4, & 5.”
- Duty #1: Examine options for strengthening enforcement measures for current laws that prevent the transfer of firearms to felons and other persons prohibited by current law from possessing firearms.
- Duty #2: Examine impediments and challenges to the timely reporting of relevant criminal history information and other threat indicators to state and federal databases.
- Duty #3: Examine the role of digital media and technology in threat detection, assessment, reporting, and prevention, including the collaboration between digital media and law enforcement.
- Duty #4: Evaluate the ongoing and long-term workforce needs of the state related to cybersecurity, mental health, law enforcement, and related professionals.
- Duty #5: Evaluate current protocols and extreme risk indicators used to identify potential threats and consider options for improving the dissemination of information between federal, state, and local entities and timely and appropriate intervention of mental health professionals.
Use the GOA Texas Activist Resources page for talking points and data. Here are some highlights of what you can find there:
- Handout: Expanded Background Checks
- “Come and Take It” by Derek Cohen, Texas Public Policy Foundation (Texas-specific research on related topics)
- General Gun Rights Talking Points — a collection of data, links, statistics, and talking points on defensive gun use and more
- Handout: Constitutional Carry and Gun-Free Zones
Examples of Testimony
See examples of other people’s testimony:
- GOA’s submitted statements on Topic 1 and Topic 4
- GOA oral testimony on Topics 1 and 5 (click here and listen at 5:58:10)
- Statement with legal analysis on Topic 1 from Emily Taylor, an attorney with Texas Law Shield
Thank you for being a part of the GOA Texas community and fighting alongside us to protect our right to keep and bear arms!