Don't mess with Texans' gun rights, GOP officials declare

Posted Friday, Jan. 25, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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BURLESON -- U.S. Rep. Roger Williams doesn't want anyone messing with Texans' Second Amendment rights.

Williams went to a Burleson gun shop Friday morning to tell a group of about 50 people that his strong support for gun rights isn't wavering -- and he strongly opposes recent proposals such as assault weapons and high-capacity magazine bans.

"If the president wants to begin a national dialogue about stopping violence, he shouldn't start by taking away our rights as citizens," said Williams, a Republican who represents the 25th Congressional District, which stretches from Tarrant County to Austin. "We need solutions, Mr. President, not slogans."

Williams spoke at the Off Duty Armory in Burleson one day after U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and other congressional members proposed a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama promised to do everything he can to make a reality the country's most aggressive gun control proposal in decades. The plan, developed through a task force guided by Vice President Joe Biden in the wake of the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school in December, included requiring background checks on all gun purchases, banning assault weapons and limiting ammunition magazines to 10 rounds.

Williams said he's opposed "to the president's unnecessary and unwise executive orders on gun ownership as well as his plans to seek other [legislative] restrictions in Congress."

"I believe that the issue of violence in America is a complicated challenge that does not lend itself to simple answers or easy slogans," he said. "I'm concerned about this administration's whole process. It seems the Biden task force had a predetermined result from the beginning and wanted to enact more gun laws rather than address the root of the problem."

Obama earlier this month noted that his plan will require approval from a very divided Congress.

"While there is no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence completely, no piece of legislation that will prevent every tragedy, every act of evil, if there is even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there is even one life that can be saved, then we've got an obligation to try," Obama said at the time.

Williams predicts proposals such as Feinstein's assault weapons ban will fail, at least in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.

"I am willing to work with the president and anyone else to find a real solution to the challenges we face," Williams said. "But the solution will have to look at all the issues involved, including mental health policy, as well as violence in our entertainment and our video games. But perhaps the most important part of our solution is restoring a culture of life in this country again.

"Every human being is created in God's own image," he said. "We need to remind ourselves that every life is precious."

State Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, and state Rep. Rob Orr, R-Burleson, were among those who joined Williams on Friday, saying they, too, will do what they can to protect Texans' Second Amendment rights.

"It is our duty as your elected officials ... to protect your rights," Birdwell said. "This is an issue of trust and responsibility that elected officials have to those they serve."

Birdwell is among the more than dozen Texas senators -- including Sens. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, and Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound -- who have signed on to a bill to let some Texans carry concealed handguns on college campuses.

Anna M. Tinsley, 817-390-7610

Twitter: @annatinsley

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