The church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas is still fresh in people’s minds and as the state and country mourn the loss of 26 people, many say now is not the time for politics or policy changes on gun regulation. However, at least one Texas Republican plans to introduce legislation to address background checks.
Earlier this week, The Pentagon said in a statement that Devin Kelley, the former Air Force Veteran who opened fire on the First Baptist Church, was discharged for domestic violence and should have been prohibited from buying the gun used in that shooting. However, the Air Force did not send Kelley’s court-martial and conviction information to the FBI database used to approve gun buyers. This week, Senior Senator John Cornyn from Texas announced plans for a new bill that would force the military to communicate with the FBI in order to strengthen the background check system.
Meanwhile, the Junior Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, is responding to the tragedy in a very different way. Cruz visited Sutherland Springs earlier this week and when asked about gun control, Cruz responded by chastising the media saying now is not the time to turn to a political agenda surrounding gun control.
Moving on to the House of Representatives where U.S. Congressman Ted Poe has become the latest Texas Republican to announce that he will not run for re-election. Poe follows Congressman Jeb Hensarling and Congressman Lamar Smith who have also announced they won’t run again. On Brazos Valley This Morning, we asked Alana Rocha from the Texas Tribune if this represents a trend and if so, what does this mean for the Texas Delegation.
“The timing is interesting but also, obvious to those who follow the political calendars… Texas is one of the earliest states for candidate filing and that 30 day period starts this Saturday,” Rocha said. “It’s considered bad manners to announce your retirement during that period.”