At a roundtable in Austin, Texas Gun Owners for Safety vow to fight for stronger laws while promoting gun safety
August 20, 2019 — Today, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, co-founder of Giffords and a gun owner, was in Austin to help launch Texas Gun Owners for Safety. At a roundtable, a coalition of Texas hunters, sport shooters, and collectors came together to declare they will advocate for commonsense gun violence prevention laws and promote safe and responsible gun ownership. Members of the new group also shared their personal stories about getting involved and why they believe in both the Second Amendment and stronger gun laws.
“Texas is ready for change,” said former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, co-founder of Giffords. “Texans are fed up with a system where politicians use divisive dialogue to protect special interests and stifle progress. It’s led us down a path where the threat of gun violence has become a constant presence in communities across the state. Now, gun owners are pushing back to put the focus on amplifying agreements among the majority of residents who support gun safety laws. The individuals I met today have found the courage to speak up and say we must do more to stop dangerous people from getting firearms. They will inspire others to do the same and give leaders in Washington DC and Austin the strength to work tirelessly on signing bills into law that save lives.”
Texas gun owners decided to take action because of their mounting concern over the gun violence crisis. Earlier this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that in 2017 the number of people dying from gun violence rose for the third year in a row. Overall, 39,773 Americans died in 2017 from gunshots, meaning that nearly 109 people were killed by firearms each day.
“As a gun owner, mother, and grandmother I know that there is no reason we can’t have sensible gun laws,” said Patricia Krov of Texas Gun Owners for Safety. “Policies like universal background checks will keep guns out of dangerous hands and that’s what has been missing in this country and state. The Second Amendment is an important right, but with it comes responsibilities. We must take care of each other and recognize that commonsense regulations don’t threaten anyone’s constitutional rights.”
During the meeting this morning, the Texas Gun Owners for Safety discussed their mission, priorities, and the policies they will support and call on lawmakers to pass at the state and federal level. Giffords has helped launch similar groups this year in Minnesota and Colorado to help amplify the voices of the many gun owners who support commonsense laws such as background checks for every gun sale.
“I learned about gun safety at a young age—my father kept my guns locked up until I was old enough to use them responsibly,” said Kevin Cruser of Texas Gun Owners for Safety. “Commonsense gun laws save lives, and we need to start a conversation about that. We can put safeguards in place to keep guns out of dangerous hands and that’s what we’re here to do.”
The mission of the new group is to support gun violence prevention laws while respecting the Second Amendment and promoting gun safety. The group has three goals: reduce gun violence in Texas, shift the culture, and promote responsible gun ownership. Both in Texas and nationally, the Texas Gun Owners for Safety will focus on popular policies like establishing universal background checks and safe storage laws.
In recent years, Texas has been hit hard by the gun violence epidemic:
- Texas faces 3,139 gun-related deaths each year, for an average of nearly nine people per day.
- From 2013 to 2017, 3,137 people under age 25 were killed with a gun in Texas.
- Gun violence costs Texas $16.6 billion million per year, or $632 per Texas resident.