Abbott Tweet Saying Texans Should Buy More Guns Resurfaces After Shooting

A 2015 tweet by Texas Governor Greg Abbott calling on Texans to buy more guns has resurfaced online in the aftermath of the deadly mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde on Tuesday.

Abbott, a Republican who's served as governor of Texas since 2015, was commenting on a Houston Chronicle article that said requests to buy guns had topped one million for year in the state. He wrote on Twitter that he was "embarrassed" by the fact that Texas wasn't the number one state in the nation for new gun purchases.

"Let's pick up the pace Texans." he wrote, tagging gun rights advocacy group the National Rifle Association of America (NRA).

Greg Abbott Texas
A 2015 tweet by Texas Governor Greg Abbott encouraging Texans to purchase more guns has resurfaced in the aftermath of the Uvalde school shooting. Above, Abbott participates in a news briefing at the White House after an Oval Office announcement with President Donald Trump on March 24, 2017. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Abbott's tweet mocking Texans for falling behind Californians in the purchase of new guns just doesn't age well next to the school shootings that have taken place in the state since and feels particularly outrageous to many on social media after the Uvalde shooting where 19 children and two adults lost their lives.

The tweet has been revived by new replies to Abbott, with social media users writing sarcastic and accusatory statements in response to the governor's message.

"I understand congratulations are in order. Texas is #1 in school shootings this year: 19 over California's 18," wrote one user.

"This is on you," wrote another user, followed by another writing, "You finally proud?."

It's not the first time this tweet has resurfaced. Replies to the tweet show that people have made comments of the same nature in 2017, after the Sutherland Spring church shooting, and in 2019, after the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso.

Since 2015, Texas has actually become the state with the highest number of licenses issued per year in the nation. Last year, 1,006,555 licenses were issued in Texas, according to the think tank RAND Corporation.

Texas was followed by Florida, with 518,725 new licenses reported in the same year standing at a significant distance from the first ranked state.

It is estimated that 45.7 percent of adults in Texas live in homes with guns. Still, Texas is not even in the top ten list of states with the highest rates of gun ownership, according to World Population Review.

Since being elected governor of Texas, Abbott has passed a total of 22 gun laws that reflected his support for gun rights in the state. One controversial bill was passed in September to allow people to carry a handgun without a permit in most public places, schools excluded.

After news of the shooting at Uvalde's Robb Elementary School broke, Abbott expressed his condolences to the family of the victims on Twitter, saying he and his wife were mourning "this horrific loss."

Newsweek reached out to Governor Abbott for comment.