More than 600 conservatives, mostly in Texas, call for gun reform -Breaking
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – A man prays in front of the memorial that was built at the site of weekend shootings at Tops grocery in Buffalo, New York. U.S. May 19, 20,22. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid//File Photo
Joseph Axe and Tim Reid
(Reuters) – More than 600 gun-rights supporters from conservative parties, as well as several large Republican donors, have urged Congress to adopt gun control laws in response to mass shootings at Uvalde in Texas and other parts of the United States.
Todd Maclin (a former J.P. Morgan Chase senior executive) organized a group of Texas residents to sign an open letter to support expanding background checks and passing red flag laws that prohibit firearms being sold to anyone deemed to be a threat to their safety or to the public.
With 250 signatures from Robert Rowling, the billionaire founder TRT Holdings and Ray Hunt, a billionaire oil executive, this letter appeared in Sunday’s Dallas Morning News.
Maclin stated that more than 600 gun owners in Texas had joined the movement by Tuesday.
Maclin stated in an email to Reuters that “I believe all Americans feel deeply disturbed by gun violence in the country”. “As for this group, I want to do my part to encourage legislation which will help to address the problem.
Even though it is modest, this shift in stance by the donors represents a major departure from Republican norms on gun issues. Even though Americans support safety measures, such as background checks or increased calls for reforms following the Texas massacre, the party seems to be reluctant to accept any further restrictions on firearms.
New York Republican U.S. Representative Chris Jacobs quit his bid to reelect himself after party activists pressured him into backing banning assault-style guns in the aftermath of the mass shooting that claimed 10 lives at a Buffalo grocery store.
Open letter was signed by gun lovers and Second Amendment supporters. They stated that they are open to new approaches to reduce gun violence following the death of an 18-year old gunman who killed 19 students and 2 teachers at Robb Elementary School, Uvalde Texas.
According to the letter, “The problems are complex and require thoughtful non-political solution.”
The bipartisan group that includes Republican John Cornyn from Texas, U.S. Senators is currently discussing reforms such as encouraging red flag legislation to be passed in states and federal funding for school security.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has stated that stricter gun laws won’t prevent future tragedies. He has suggested that lawmakers focus more on accessing mental health services, and tightening security at schools.
Abbott’s spokesperson, who is a Republican running for reelection, didn’t comment on his support of some measures proposed by major donors.
According to reports on campaign finance, Rowling and his firm have donated approximately $21,000,000 to Republican candidates over the past decade. These donations included nearly $1.5million to Abbott’s three gubernatorial candidates.
Since 2012 Hunt has given more than $10,000,000 at both the federal and state levels, which includes nearly $2 million for Abbott’s campaigns.
The Hunt’s and Rowling organizations didn’t respond to email requests for comment.
Sam Susser (a bank and private investment executive) also signed the letter. He has donated approximately $450,000 to Abbott since 2013.