All is not well for liberty lovers in the Lone Star State. Texas Lt Governor Dan Patrick says he will defy the National Rifle Association and support new forms of gun control and conservative activists worry that, with all the Democrat primary candidates coming to Houston to campaign and debate this week, we may be moving deeper towards the blue in what was once the most conservative state in America.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says he's "willing to take an arrow" and defy the National Rifle Association by pressing Texas to close one loophole in gun-purchaser background checks.
On Friday, Patrick said it's "common sense" to tighten background-check laws because in many instances, stranger-to-stranger sales now are exempt from the requirement that buyers be vetted through a federal database of people not eligible to purchase firearms.
"Look, I'm a solid NRA guy," he said, "but not expanding the background check to eliminate the stranger to stranger sale makes no sense to me and ... most folks."
The NRA responded soon after, calling Patrick's proposals "political gambits" that would "resurrect the same broken, Bloomberg-funded failures that were attempted under the Obama administration."
"Criminalizing private firearm transfers would require a massive, governmental gun registration scheme. Instead of trampling the freedom of law-abiding Americans, the government should focus upon actual solutions: fixing our broken mental health system, prosecuting known criminals and enforcing the existing gun laws that require follow-up whenever a prohibited person tries to buy a firearm," the NRA Institute for Legislative Action, its lobbying arm, said in a statement.
This isn't the first time in recent history that Dan Patrick has disappointed Texas gun activists. Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and Patrick both turned their backs on conservatives earlier this year when they crushed the Constitutional Carry bill.
In the meantime, Texas Republicans are sounding the alarms on a possibility that our state may be shifting purple.
Texas Republicans are sounding the alarm as Democratic presidential candidates get ready for their debate next week in Houston, warning that the Lone Star State could become more purple if the party doesn’t treat it as a 2020 battleground.
Most in the GOP are confident President Trump will win Texas and its 38 electoral votes next year, and they think Texas GOP Sen. John Cornyn will turn aside his Democratic challenger.
But they are worried they will lose more House seats a cycle after Democrats clawed back two districts as they retook their majority.
Five House Republicans have retired, including three in seats targeted by Democrats. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates them as either toss-ups or lean Democratic.
More broadly, Texas Republicans say the GOP can’t rest on its laurels in a state that is growing more competitive.
“We need all hands on deck and all Texans to pull together to make sure we don’t let the Democrats put an end to the longest successful run in Texas history,” said James Dickey, the chairman of the Texas Republican Party.
Top Texas GOP fundraisers who are used to exporting campaign cash to more competitive races elsewhere are looking to keep donor money in-state this cycle.
“There’s a lot of apathy and smugness and laziness here on the Republican side that’s got to be reversed or there will be a shock to the system at some point,” said George Seay, a Dallas businessman and top GOP fundraiser in Texas.
Demographics are slowly but surely changing the state as an influx of voters from California and other left-leaning states move to Texas.
With Texas Republican leaders like Dan Patrick turning their backs on conservative values and an influx of California liberals moving in every month, it's time for right-wing Lone Star voters to get serious about defending our state.
Photo of wealthy RINO by Getty images