MJ Hegar (TX-Sen), "An Open Letter to John Cornyn"

Published by The Texas Tribune

Dear Sen. Cornyn:

As I was driving through West Texas talking to local folks recently, I heard the news of the mass shooting nearby in Midland and Odessa. My heart dropped as I pulled out my phone to get more information and saw gut-wrenching video of parents huddling in a field covering their children, who were screaming and crying, telling them that it would be all right while semi-automatic gunfire echoed in the background.

I flashed back to my time in Afghanistan as the sounds of war rang in my ears. This isn’t the first time something reminded me so viscerally of my three tours in combat. But something different happened to me when I heard the terrified cries of children layered over the gunfire. Now I was experiencing war not just as a soldier, but as a mother, and this wasn’t a war zone on foreign soil, but in the streets of west Texas.

From Sutherland Springs to Santa Fe to El Paso, the sounds of war have rung out in Texas churches, high schools and stores. Enough is enough. If we’re to be the land of the free, then the brave among us must act to give our people the freedom to go to movies, shop in stores and walk through parks without having to be vigilant for threats.

That starts with getting weapons of war off of our streets and calling on governors and state legislators to ban the open carry of weapons. The reality is this: The reasons gun owners like me have for wanting to protect our Second Amendment rights — chief among them protecting our families — are not served by open carry. In recent days, we have seen companies like Walmart and Kroger take the lead and ask patrons to not openly carry weapons in their stores, but we can’t depend on that. Open carry itself is an assault on every bystander within range, as we feel the need to flee and cover our children without the freedom to call law enforcement for help. We must empower people to “see something, say something.”

We must pass sweeping common-sense gun safety legislation that is dying in U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s legislative graveyard, which would require background checks on every single gun sale — a proposal that a recent survey by The Washington Post-ABC News found was supported by 88% of gun owners and would close the loophole that may have allowed the Odessa shooter to acquire his weapon.

We need to stop the sale of assault weapons to the public, pass anti-trafficking regulations and red flag laws, give the Center for Disease Control the money needed to research gun violence prevention and increase straw purchase sentencing.

We know the gun violence epidemic in this country reaches far beyond the tragic mass shootings that we seem to be accepting as commonplace. Domestic violence, accidental shootings, children getting their hands on irresponsibly stored weapons and suicides are robbing us of our mothers, brothers, babies and our soul as a country.

John Cornyn, you have a choice before you. If you want to keep your job as a United States Senator working for the people of Texas, you need to quit working for the NRA and Mitch McConnell. As a mother, a Texan and a responsible gun owner, I sincerely hope you put politics aside and take the needed actions to protect our communities. We are Texas, and we’re in this together.
— MJ Hegar
Source: https://www.tribtalk.org/2019/09/09/an-ope...

Pritesh Gandhi (TX-10), "Common Sense Gun Safety"

Physicians like me see the trauma caused by our weak gun safety laws every day.

In 2012, weeks after the tragedy at Sandy Hook, I founded a group, Doctors Against Gun Violence, while I was doing my residency at Tulane Hospital in New Orleans. Along with fellow physicians, I crisscrossed the state of Louisiana providing a louder voice to promote evidence-based research in a campaign for common-sense gun safety laws.

Fund gun violence research.

After decades of the NRA placating gun manufacturers and bullying our elected officials to turn a blind eye, Congress is finally taking action to understand our gun violence crisis. However, the Senate is now blocking $50 million in funding for the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health to study gun violence. The Senate should fund these efforts immediately.

Congress should implement these changes immediately:

Pass Universal Background Checks. No person should be able to purchase a deadly firearm from another person without first passing a background check that ensures they don’t have a criminal history, or a history of violence against themselves or others, that prohibits them from owning a gun.

Support Extreme Risk Protection Orders. Allow physicians and family members to report individuals – who are a risk to themselves or others – to law enforcement and allow law enforcement to temporarily revoke access to firearms with the order of a judge.

Ban Assault Weapons and Large-Capacity Magazines. No civilian should have a weapon of war for personal use. Congress should ban the purchase of assault weapons and large-capacity magazines. Congress should also take steps to regulate the estimated 15 million assault weapons that are already in circulation, including establishing voluntary buy-back programs.

Close the Partner and Stalker Loopholes. Congress should expand the list of persons prohibited from purchasing a firearm to include individuals with a history of domestic violence and stalking.

End Gun Industry Immunity. Treat the gun industry just like any other and allow victims of gun violence to seek civil compensation from irresponsible gun manufacturers. Congress should close this NRA favored loophole in our civil justice system.
— https://www.gandhifortexas.com/common-sense-gun-safety

Hank Gilbert (TX-01), "Gun Violence"


The federal government must pass legislation to require better and more enhanced background checks for firearms purchases, including ending the gun-show loophole and mandating that private sales are processed the same as a new gun sale.

Additionally, Congress must pass legislation allowing states to implement so-called “red flag” laws that will allow people who pose a danger to themselves or others to be temporarily blocked from possessing firearms by state courts.

Congress must also pass laws holding gun dealers accountable for improper gun sales when those weapons are used in mass casualty incidents.

We must also pass restrictions on high-capacity magazines and high-caliber semi-automatic weapons and bump stocks.
— http://hankfortexas.com/issues/

Pat Hackett (IN-02), "Common Sense and Responsible Gun Legislation"

Gun violence is a health crisis in this nation. I will advocate for the health and safety of our children by responsible gun laws and campaign finance reform. Seven children die as a result of gun violence every single day in the United States whether in their neighborhoods, in their schools, or in their churches. There have been more than 2,100 mass shootings since the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012. There were 846 firearm deaths in Indiana in 2015 and 997 firearm deaths in Indiana in 2016. These numbers are truly disturbing, and it is unacceptable that legislators have not taken action to curb gun violence. Nothing in the 2nd Amendment prevents us from removing weapons of war, designed to kill as many people as quickly as possible, from the hands of civilians. The 2nd Amendment has become a marketing tool for gun manufacturers and the NRA. This issue is more about money than it is the Constitution. Citizens have the right to bear arms under the 2nd Amendment. For example, to hunt and have a gun at home for protection or carry with a permit. Congress should enact commonsense gun laws that continue to protect the rights of responsible gun owners, while preventing tragic and unnecessary deaths. Here are some of the actions I support:

Require universal background checks, close the gun show and internet loopholes, so that all gun purchases, including private gun sales, are recorded, and purchasers are verified through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. 74% of NRA members, and 87% of non-NRA members support criminal background checks for all gun purchases.[4] Universal background checks can protect Hoosiers by:

Banning gun sales to people with a history of violent behavior, including domestic violence.

Banning sales to people on terrorist watch lists.

Banning or removing guns from homes with suicidal residents.

Reenact the lapsed Federal Assault Weapons Ban. Assault rifles have become the weapon of choice for mass murderers in the US, and were used to kill innocent victims at Sandy Hook, Orlando, Aurora, San Bernardino, Las Vegas, Parkland and El Paso. These weapons of war are far too easy to obtain, and they make mass shootings far too common.

Criminalize the possession of automatic and semiautomatic weapons. These weapons are difficult to defend against. While automatic weapons are no longer legal to manufacture for civilian use in the US, it is not hard or expensive to purchase kits that can convert semiautomatic weapons into ones that mimic the functionality of fully automatic weapons.

Ban high capacity magazines. There is no purpose for high capacity magazines other than to maximize the loss of life.

Repeal the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,” which protects gun manufacturers from liability litigation. This would encourage manufactures to implement safety measures, such as “smart guns” that can only be discharged by authorized users.

Fund the Centers for Disease Control to conduct research on gun violence. In 1996 Congress, at the urging of the National Rifle Association, forbade the CDC to advocate or promote gun safety measures. As a result, the CDC eliminated all funding for research on gun violence, and no funding has been provided for more than 20 years. Research can provide information on what measures would be most effective in decreasing gun deaths in the United States.
Institute a waiting period for all gun sales in the US. Any law-abiding citizen should be able to wait for at least one day, or until a complete background check has been completed, before purchasing a gun.

Institute required safety training and exams for all gun owners. Safety training will help to ensure that all gun owners are well versed in the safe and legal operation of the weapons they own.
— https://pathackettforcongress.com/issue/gun-safety/

Jeremiah Landin (TX-31) Facebook Post

Ronnie Ross (VA Sen-27) Issue Statement

I love being outdoors. Yes, that means hiking and camping, but it also means shooting. While I prefer a 10/22 rifle, I recognize that from sports to hunting, everyone has their firearm of choice. However, I also realize that we need basic, common sense rules for firearm ownership. This is why I support the need for a permit when concealed carrying. This is also why I am for universal background checks. I want to make sure that we keep guns out of the hands of people who do harm. I also want to be sure that, when I buy a gun, my seller is someone I can trust. Background checks protect everyone.

We also need to do a better job when it comes to educating for gun storage. Guns should be stored in a safe, they should be unloaded, and they should not have ammunition in the chamber. These same guidelines should apply to daycares, which is why I support legislation requiring daycares to lock up their guns.

Finally, Virginia should not be subject to the gun laws of other states. This is why I will fight against concealed carry reciprocity. Visitors to Virginia should be subject to our laws.
— https://www.ronnieross.com/issues-1

Sean Frame (CA-04) Issue Statement

As a local, I know that responsible gun ownership is part of life in our district; as someone whose life has been shaped by gun violence, I know that dangerous gun ownership must not be. Given the epidemic of gun violence in our country, we need to enact common sense gun legislation that keeps guns out of the hands of people who are most likely to use them to hurt themselves or others.

Support lawful and responsible gun ownership for hunting and self-defense

Encourage firearm training, including proper storage

Pass H.R. 8 and H.R. 1112 to require universal background checks for all gun purchases

Fund CDC study of gun violence as a public health crisis

Pass extreme risk/red flag laws that let family members and law enforcement petition courts to temporarily restrict a person’s access to guns if they pose a danger to themselves or others

Heavily restrict guns, gun modifications, and ammunition that maximize the potential to murder people by placing limits on key characteristics, including rate of fire, reload speed, magazine capacity, the lethality of bullets, and the like.

Remove special protections for gun manufacturers so that gunmakers can be held responsible for the damage their weapons cause and how they market.

Prevent forced reciprocity so that states can set their own gun laws including concealed carry, silencers, and other

Make social and emotional learning part of all school curricula

Recognize gun violence in domestic violence situations as a public health issue requiring mental and physical health treatment and intervention
— https://frame4congress.com/platform/

Greg Sagan (TX-13), "My Thoughts on the Second Amendment"

Recently I received a survey from the National Rifle Association asking for my views – as a candidate for Congress – on a number of Second Amendment issues. This was my response:

Dear Mr. Ouimet:

I recently received your survey for Federal candidates for public office to find out where they stand on second amendment issues. I must admit that I found the questions in this survey to be rather biased, in some cases markedly so, so instead of answering your survey questions I will outline my position on second amendment rights in summary form.

First, I grew up with guns, and I support the second amendment in principle. I have owned handguns, rifles and/or shotguns for most of my adult life. I currently own two handguns, and I am licensed by the state of Texas to carry them openly, on my person, in public. With only a few exceptions, I carry one of them almost all the time I am outside. In addition, while on active duty with the US Navy (I am a Vietnam veteran) I was on the Navy Match Pistol Team while stationed in Subic Bay, R.P., and I am authorized to wear the Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon with silver “E” for “Expert.” So I consider myself a “second amendment” supporter in both words and deeds.

I also believe in certain restrictions to the second amendment. For example, I believe:

– That no civilian needs or should be allowed to possess a fully-automatic firearm;

– That no civilian needs or should be allowed to possess a silencer;

– That no civilian needs or should be allowed to possess a high capacity magazine – i.e., a magazine that holds more than 15 rounds;

– That no one be allowed to obtain a state or federal license to either own or carry a firearm without a background check, without adequate training, without an adequate mental health evaluation by a licensed professional psychologist or psychiatrist, without appropriate liability insurance, and without a demonstration of proper handling before a certified firearms instructor;

– That no one who has been prosecuted for domestic violence be allowed to own a firearm of any kind;

– That no one who has been convicted of a violent crime of any kind be allowed to own a firearm of any kind;

– That no one with a diagnosed mental health condition that makes him (or her) a risk to the public be allowed to own a firearm of any kind;

– That no civilian be allowed to own a functioning mortar, rocket launcher or “crew-served” weapon of any kind.

In addition, I believe that each state should be allowed to decide how to license people to carry firearms, whether to recognize reciprocity in firearm licensing with other states, and whether to modify their criminal statutes to address gun ownership and gun violence. I realize that there is a counter argument on the constitutional basis of “full faith and credit” for carrying firearms either openly or concealed, but I also recognize that there are exceptions to this clause (e.g., legalized marijuana) that apply to gun ownership, licensing and carrying.

As far as veterans returning from conflicts with “liberated” weapons, I would allow them to keep such weapons only if they are permanently rendered incapable of “fully automatic” functioning.

This is my position, so grade me as you will.
— Greg Sagan
Source: https://futuretense.blog/2018/01/02/my-tho...

Perry Gershon (NY-01), "The deadly combination of racist rhetoric and guns"

In little more than a week, we’ve seen mass shootings in El Paso, Texas; Dayton, Ohio; Brooklyn, New York and Gilroy, California. No American community is immune to gun violence. Too many killed, too many injured, too many families ripped apart.

Even worse, the rising tide of gun violence is directly linked to the rising tide of racism and hate crimes in this country; the rhetoric from the National Rifle Association and certain high level elected officials is not helpful.

Let’s be clear: These tragedies are preventable. We don’t have to live like this. Our leaders, including Congressman Lee Zeldin, have a responsibility to act—a responsibility he has failed.

Rep. Zeldin is a puppet of the NRA, an organization that has severely radicalized in recent years. He has accepted more financial assistance from the gun lobby than almost every other member of the House of Representatives. Whether it be from direct or indirect contributions, he is in their pocket—like none other in New York.

As your Congressman, I’ll never take a dime from the NRA. Here’s my plan for reducing gun violence:

Mandatory background checks. We must create a rigorous national standard for background checks and close loopholes. The recently passed House resolution is a good start, no thanks to Zeldin. But the Senate and President must act as well.

Protecting the New York SAFE Act. I fiercely oppose Lee’s Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which allows out of state residents to carry concealed weapons in New York, immune from New York’s gun safety laws. This puts lives at risk. Just ask law enforcement what they think.

Limiting assault-style weapons. We must restore the provisions of the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, a bill that had substantial support from House Republicans at the time.

Banning bump stocks. Congress must permanetly ban bump stock devices that effectively convert semi-automatic assault weapons into automatic weapons.

No guns in schools. Not for teachers. Not for students.
And you know what else? I’ll always speak up against the racist rhetoric that fuels the hate. We stand up and speak with one voice to say that hate and racism are not acceptable in this country.

On Thursday at 7:30 p.m., the majority voice of NY-1 will make their position known at a rally outside Rep. Zeldin’s office in Patchogue (31 Oak Street). I will be participating as an invited speaker. Let’s make sure he hears us loud and clear.

Natalie Cline (WV-01) Issue Statement

As a nation, we have a responsibility to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of violent criminals, domestic abusers, and terrorists. This can be achieved while protecting the Second Amendment and the rights of responsible gun owners with common sense policies. I will fight to implement universal background checks and higher penalties on gun trafficking.
— https://www.natalieclineforcongress.com/issues

Tedra Cobb (NY-21) Issue Statement

Tedra Cobb is committed to maintaining an individual’s access to firearms for safe hunting and personal protection, while working to minimize gun violence, an escalating public health crisis. She calls on Congress to reject partisanship and address the issue with reason, integrity and cooperation.

By working together, we can ensure public health and safety while maintaining the freedoms guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment.

Congress has a moral and legal obligation to institute gun-related policies that protect the people.

We must reject partisanship and approach discussions about gun rights and public safety with sensitivity, objectivity and pragmatism.

Fully fund and allow the Centers for Disease Control to research causes of and solutions to gun violence.

Implement effective universal background checks for all gun sales, whether at gun shows, via the internet or at retailers.

Ban bump stocks and all other modifications that make a firearm fully automatic.

Expand protections under domestic violence statutes for domestic partners and victims of stalking.

Prohibit people who have committed hate crimes and/or who are on the terror watch list from purchasing guns.

Increase mental health service screenings to make sure questions are asked to determine whether those at risk of self-harm or harming others have access to firearms.

Revoke conceal-and-carry reciprocity that allows persons with permits from states with looser laws from carrying a firearm in states with stronger laws, like New York.

Increase funding and support for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

RELATED POLICY POSITIONS

Repeal the Tiahart Amendment, which requires that ATF gun traces be performed on paper, effectively making them useless in prevention of trafficking, and prohibits the ATF from requiring gun dealers to perform regular inventory checks.

Support campaign finance reforms that prevent organizations from bribing their representatives with campaign dollars.

Reject the idea of arming teachers in public schools.

Require gun safety courses and exams before issuing a license to purchase any gun.
— https://www.tedracobb.com/issues/addressing-gun-violence/

Dee Thornton (IN-05) Issue Statement

I support Second Amendment rights, and I recognize the need for common sense gun legislation. I strongly support gun reform.
The facts show that more than 150,000 students – in at least 170 schools – have experienced a shooting on campus since the Columbine High School massacre. Ninety-one percent of children under the age of 15 who have lost their lives to a bullet lived right here in the United States. Not all wounds are visible. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder affects up to 70 percent of the kids who witness these attacks. We must do better for our children and for ourselves.

As your representative, I am committed to working toward:

● Reinstating the ban on semi-automatic assault weapons: Weapons that were made for the military don’t belong in the hands of private citizens. Law enforcement and military leaders agree. After the Parkland shooting, three-fourths of Americans are in favor of banning assault-style weapons.

● Banning bump stocks: Bump fire stocks make it easier for a shooter to fire rounds in rapid succession. More than eight in 10 Americans supports banning these dangerous devices.

● Strengthening background checks and closing current loopholes: We need to ensure that background checks are performed for each and every person purchasing a gun, whether they purchase the firearm at a retail store, online, or person-to-person at a gun show. We must strengthen background checks by closing the three-day loophole that allows automatic approval of a permit within three days.

● Raising the age for purchase: While the county is waiting for Congress to take action, at least four major retailers have stepped up to do what our representatives will not. They have recognized that it makes no sense for it to be harder to buy a beer than a gun. We must raise the age for purchase to 21 years nationally.

● Exploring licensing for gun ownership: If our driver’s licenses must be renewed, so should our gun licenses. We need to reevaluate our requirements for gun licensing. We must stop proposals for concealed carry reciprocity across our country, which have a profound impact on state public safety. Our state’s gun laws must be respected.

● Supporting, increasing, and enhancing services for mental health: While healthcare access is being rolled back by the current administration, the need for increased and enhanced mental health services is clear. We must take a multi-factor approach in our efforts to reducing violence. Supporting access to mental health care is necessary to that process.

Tackling gun violence will take all of us working together – Republicans and Democrats alike – to find innovative and effective solutions to this complex problem. Let’s start with common sense and build from there.
— http://www.deethorntonforcongress.com/gun-reform