May 13, 2023
Following the latest mass murder in the Lone Star State, two Texas Republican lawmakers joined with Democrats to pass anti-gun legislation that, ironically, doesn’t have anything to do with the mass murderer shooting people the Allen Premium Outlets.
On May 8, the Republican-led Select Committee on Community Safety, some succumbing to pressure after the mall attack, passed House Bill 2744, which among other things would make it illegal for anyone under 21 years of age to purchase an AR-style firearm. The measure also prohibits the sale of firearms to anyone with an active protective order or someone who is intoxicated. Republican state Rep. Sam Harless of Spring and Rep. Justin Holland of Rockwell joined Democrats in voting for the measure, which passed by an 8-5 vote. Had the duo not jumped ship the bill would have been defeated 7-6.
What’s interesting is that the latest mass murderer at the Outlet Mall was 33 years old, not between the targeted age of the legislation—18 to 20. He also, like most such murderers, had mental problems, having been expelled from the U.S. military 15 years ago for mental concerns. Of course, at age 18, American citizen are eligible to vote, be drafted, serve in the military, serve on a jury, enter into contracts, sue and be sued, get married and own property. Restricting their right to purchase and own firearms is unconstitutional and will not reduce crime.
Dead For Now
Fortunately for young adults in Texas, May 11 was the last day to pass a bill in the House of Representatives, and the measure never came to a vote. However, the measure didn’t have widespread support in the full House of Representatives anyway. And Gov. Greg Abbott had spoken out against the proposal in the past.
“It is clear that the gun control law that they are seeking at Uvalde, as much as they may want it, it has already been ruled to be unconstitutional,” Abbott said last August at a campaign stop.
Just a week before that appearance a federal judge in Texas had struck down a law barring 18- to 20-year-olds from carrying a firearm as unconstitutional. Interestingly, just three days after the Texas committee approved the legislation a federal court in Virginia ruled that federal laws requiring individuals to be at least 21 to purchase a handgun are unconstitutional.
“Because the statutes and regulations in question are not consistent with our Nation’s history and tradition, they, therefore, cannot stand,” U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne wrote in his ruling.
That ruling, along with many others, shows the likely outcome should anti-gunners in Texas ever manage to pass a law prohibiting 18- to 20-year-olds from purchasing AR-style rifles.
About the Author
Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for nearly 25 years.
If you have any thoughts or comments on this article, we’d love to hear them. Email us at FirearmsNews@Outdoorsg.com.