Texas GOP donors call on Congress to move on gun control

FILE – Illegally possessed firearms seized by authorities are displayed during a news conference Oct. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. As Americans reel from repeated shootings, law enforcement officials and experts on extremism are taking increasing notice of the sprawling online space devoted to guns and gun rights: gun forums, tactical training videos, websites that sell unregistered gun kits and social media platforms where far-right gun owners swap practical tips with talk of dark plots to take their weapons. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

More than 250 Republican donors and self-described gun rights supporters penned an open letter this weekend calling for Congress to move on limited gun reform after an elementary school shooting in Uvalde left 19 children and two teachers dead.

“Most law enforcement experts believe these measures would make a difference,” said the letter, according to The Texas Tribune. “And recent polls of fellow conservatives suggest that there is strong support for such gun-safety measures.”

The letter, which ran as a full-page advertisement in The Dallas Morning News on Sunday, also expressed support for the work of Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), who was selected by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to lead the GOP in bipartisan gun reform efforts in Congress. 

“He’s the right man to lead this bipartisan effort, as he has demonstrated throughout his career,” the letter said. 

The bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Cornyn and Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) is focusing on a proposal to encourage states to implement red flag laws, which would prohibit individuals considered dangerous to themselves or others from possessing firearms.  

It is also considering expanded background checks for gun purchases and other measures to expand mental health care and make schools more secure.

Cornyn said on Friday that it would be “embarrassing” if Congress failed to act in response to the Uvalde shooting.

The letter was paid for by Todd Maclin, a former J.P. Morgan Chase senior executive, the Tribune reported. 

Maclin, who now runs Maclin Management in Dallas, describes himself as a conservative gun owner. He said he was inspired to act after the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde.

“These events have really motivated me and really gotten under my skin and encouraged me to support the effort that’s underway,” Maclin told the Tribune. “I just felt like I needed to do something, and I also believe that there are reasonable things that can be done.”

An Economist/YouGov poll taken late last month found that 67 percent of Republican voters said stricter gun laws would not have prevented recent mass shootings.

Tags Chris Murphy gun owners John Cornyn John Cornyn Mitch McConnell Uvalde school shooting

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