Former State Representative Matt Rinaldi sharply criticized Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick in a recent piece for Texas Scorecard.
Rinaldi started off by recounting Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke declaration to take people’s AR-15s in the third presidential debate.
Like many observers, Rinaldi believes that “Beto shouldn’t worry gun owners. He holds no office, is at 1 percent in the polls, and will not be able to affect Texans’ gun rights in any material way in the foreseeable future.”
On the other hand, the former elected official argues that Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick “poses the biggest threat to Texas gun owners.”
He specifically alluded to Patrick’s push for universal background checks.
Rinaldi detailed what this proposal consists of:
Patrick wants to enact a law prohibiting private gun sales without a background check. While to a layperson this may seem innocuous, it would in practice remove Democrats’ most significant logistical barrier to confiscation by creating a gun registry.
He also highlighted the bureaucratic hoops that prospective gun owners must jump through:
That is, every purchaser of firearms going through a background check is required to fill out ATF Form 4473, which contains detailed information about the purchaser and the firearm purchased, including the type of weapon and serial number. The seller is required to keep the form on file for 20 years in the case of a completed sale and turn the forms over to the ATF if the seller goes out of business.
Unlike his establishment Republican colleagues, Rinaldi sees the bigger picture. He argues that a “law requiring background checks for such sales would create a complete record of firearm transfers—a registry—which is only a subpoena or congressional vote from the federal government’s possession.”
However, Patrick was not the only one who received criticism from Rinaldi. He declared that “Conservatives shouldn’t let Gov. Greg Abbott off the hook, either.”
Although Abbott’s “Safety Action Report” did not blatantly include a red flag or mandatory background check proposal, it is still “nuanced to leave the door open to Patrick’s plan.”
Rinaldi expanded on this:
Specifically, the report calls for “ways to make it easy, affordable, and beneficial for a private seller of firearms to voluntarily use background checks when selling firearms to strangers [emphasis mine].” The definition of the words “voluntary” and “beneficial” are unclear but extremely important. If, for example, the governor intends to make it “beneficial” to use a background check for private sales by imposing civil liability where one is not used, the background checks are not truly voluntary.
For the former Constitutional Carry champion, compromising on the Second Amendment “is a sure way to demoralize the GOP base, destroy the Republican brand, and turn Texas blue.”
Rinaldi concluded on a high note:
When a GOP official is asked, “What are we doing to protect the public?” the correct answer is: “The same thing we did to successfully reduce the murder rate by half in the past 30 years: giving the public the means to defend themselves and their families by encouraging lawful gun ownership.”
Even out of office, Rinaldi continues to be a vocal conservative in Texas.
With Texas’s rapidly changing political climate, conservative voices like him must hold Texas’ political class accountable.
Texas Political Establishment Attempts to Derail Shelley Luther’s Campaign
The special election for Texas’ Senate District 30 is on pace to be one of the most heated races in the Lone Star State.
At a candidate forum on September 18, 2020, Shelley Luther, the Dallas salon owner who was jailed for opening her business in defiance of Governor Greg Abbott’s shutdown order, confronted outgoing State Senator Pat Fallon.
Fallon vacated his seat and is now backing a successor in State Representative Drew Springer.
“We don’t want somebody who’s going to be at odds with our Republican governor,” Fallon said September 18 at the Grayson County Republican Women’s Club.
I didn’t support some of the things that he has done about opening up. … So, he’s made some mistakes. He’s our Republican governor, the 80/20 rule … because you’re not going to get any bills passed unless the governor signs them.
“Let me make something clear. I am accountable to my fellow citizens in Senate District 30. Not our Governor,” Luther responded on September 19 on Facebook:
This is exactly what is wrong with Austin. Our politicians are more loyal to Abbott than us, even when they disagree with him.
I will work with Governor Abbott when he is fighting to protect the liberty of Texans, and I will oppose him when he pushes unilateral dictates that shut down our local businesses.
Fallon and Luther had a tense exchange, which was caught on video.
“You want me to go all in on this race?” Fallon questioned Luther. “I have been 5 percent in on this race. You want me to go all in on it, I’m welcome to.”
“This has become a straight-up fight between Abbott and the ‘Kumbaya’ Professional Political Class vs. the grassroots and people who remember what limited government and principles should look like,” opined conservative activist Mike Openshaw.
“Respectfully, being willing to be jailed for fighting over-reaching government shows principle; that counts for something, Patrick,” Openshaw continued.
Luther has recently received endorsements from conservative Collin County Judge Chris Hill and Young Conservatives of Texas. Springer, on the other hand, received an endorsement from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which asserted that Luther was going down a “far right” path.
A Republican is expected to carry the senate district, which may still require a runoff if the leading candidate does not get enough votes during the first round of the special election.
Election Day will be on September 29.
Luther is viewed as the truly conservative option and many believe she could help break the political status quo in Austin that has kept conservative legislation from ever being passed.
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