Fort Worth

Veasey targets reckless gun use, addresses immigration at Fort Worth town hall

Democrats’ presidential chances

U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth on the Democrats’ presidential chances in Texas next year after speaking to students, along with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, at the Young Women’s Leadership Academy in Fort Worth.
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U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth on the Democrats’ presidential chances in Texas next year after speaking to students, along with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, at the Young Women’s Leadership Academy in Fort Worth.

Guided by his North Texas constituents, U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey roamed Thursday night from Middle East conflict and peace to healthcare to why some bus stops do not offer shelter and benches at a town hall session in Fort Worth.

Several questions focused on gun sales, a political matter again at the fore after a mass shooting earlier this month in El Paso.

Veasey, D-Fort Worth, said legislation should target reckless gun use.

“We know that most people are very responsible,” he said.

Veasey said he looked forward to being “out in a dove field somewhere” in the fall.

He said he supported bills already passed in the U.S. House that close gun show and private transaction loopholes that allow firearm sales without background checks and permit checks to occur during longer periods in some cases.

He also said he supported proposals that would temporarily withhold firearms from a person experiencing a mental health crisis.

“Of course we need to pass the red flag laws,” Veasey said.

Immigration was another focus of Thursday’s question-and-answer session with constituents at the TCC Opportunity Center.

Veasey said a significant question in considering immigration law should be an examination of workforce projections over as many as 50 years in sectors such as agriculture, construction and hospitality, particularly in rural areas.

“These immigrants are often times the only people who will fill these jobs,” he said.

Veasey said he supported neither a border wall nor open borders.

“I don’t know any Democrats who are for open borders,” he said.

The crowd of about 50 people was mostly friendly and warm. Veasey took 15 questions over 70 minutes. He began the session by discussing his new assignments this term to the House Energy and Commerce Committee and its Small Business Committee.

Veasey previously served on the Armed Services and the Science, Space and Technology committees.

Town hall season

Other Fort Worth-area congressional members have already held or are planning town halls.

U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Pilot Point, held a town hall Aug. 1 that focused heavily on the crisis on America’s southern boarder. That same day U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, spoke at a Alvarado Chamber of Commerce luncheon where questions also regarded immigration.

U.S. Rep. Ron Wright, R-Arlington, said he’s trying to plan tele-town halls and, if possible, in-person town halls as well. And staff for U.S. Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Coppell, say plans are underway for local outreach.

U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, hasn’t held publicly advertised town halls in years. She is scheduled to speak at a private Leaders in Government luncheon in Fort Worth on Aug. 21.

Staff writer Luke Ranker contributed to this report.

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Luke Ranker covers the intersection of people and government focused on Fort Worth and Tarrant County. He came to Texas from the plains of Kansas, where he wrote about a lot, including government, crime and courts in Topeka. He survived a single winter in Pennsylvania as a breaking news reporter. He can be reached at 817-390-7747 or lranker@star-telegram.com.
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