Republican Elected Officials in Texas Introduce Bills to Expand Gun Ban Database

On March 14, 2023, Texas Republican elected officials State Representative Jeff Leach and State Senator Joan Huffman introduced HB 2780 and SB 728 two companion bills designed to add more records of Texans into the National Instant Criminal Background Check Systems (NICS). These two bills would prohibit the Texans entered into the NICS system from owning or buying firearms. 

Their gun control proposal concentrates on broadening the list of “prohibited persons” by including juvenile offenders.

“These bills will do nothing to keep Texans safe from crime but will funnel more people into a federal database barring the ownership of firearms,” declared Chris McNutt, President of Texas Gun Rights. “Expanding the NICS database in this way will only serve to strip law-abiding citizens of their constitutional rights based on indiscretions from their youth. No longer can you make a mistake or suffer a mental health crisis, serve your time, seek help, and be integrated back into society. These legislators want to take your guns away permanently.”

Leach and Huffman were accompanied by Democrat Senator Sarah Eckhardt who introduced SB 1184, which is similar to HB 2780 and SB 728.

Under all of these bills, adult residents of Texas with certain juvenile offenses will be prevented from possessing firearms, irrespective of the time they served during their youth. In addition, the bills compel state reporting to NICS on all future juvenile inpatient mental health cases. On top of that, these bills would retroactively open the records of individuals who received inpatient mental care after the age of 16.

“NICS is a broken system that needs to be abolished, not expanded. This is a reaction to federal bribery, dumping juvenile records into NICS to expand the list of prohibited persons. It’s sad but not surprising that Senator Joan Huffman is pushing this gun ban database expansion. She’s Dan Patrick’s pet RINO and is often used to do anti-gun dirty work he doesn’t want to take credit for,” commented McNutt.

Per the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “one in 6 young people experienced a major depressive episode [but] the vast majority of people with mental health problems are no more likely to be violent than anyone else.”

“Many people experience mental health crises in their youth, and we should be encouraging young people to seek help, not stigmatize them. But under these pieces of legislation, all future records of mental troubles will be required to be entered into the NICS database ensuring those citizens a lifetime ban on their Second Amendment rights. More than 94% of NICS denials for firearms purchases are ‘false positives’ meaning more than 94% of the people denied a firearm purchase are wrongly denied. Funneling millions more names into this already flawed system is only a recipe for disaster,” McNutt said in a concluding remark.

Texas Gun Rights has expressed its opposition to all three bills and is urging its members to pressure their elected officials to oppose these bills. 

While Texas has come a long way in the last decade by passing pro-gun reforms such as campus carry, open carry, and constitutional carry, there are always threats to the Second Amendment. Hence the need for eternal vigilance. 

With Texas Gun Rights leading the way in holding politicians accountable in the Lone Star State, Texas gun owners can rest easy knowing that their rights will constantly be protected.

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