Greg Abbott Mocks Biden on Guns, Says Shooting Victim's Family Demanded He Uphold 2nd Amendment

Texas Governor Greg Abbott touted a 2nd Amendment "sanctuary state" bill, claiming that the family of a Bryan, Texas, mass shooting victim even urged him to uphold their gun rights during his hospital visit the night of the deadly incident.

President Joe Biden on Thursday condemned the country's "gun violence epidemic" and laid out a proposal for firearm restrictions—a move which prompted Texas Republicans to promote their own "2nd Amendment sanctuary state" rebuke.

Abbott recently joined state GOP lawmakers in backing legislation that would allow Texas to simply disregard federal laws on firearms, a direct rejection of Biden's announcement on gun control reforms. He mocked Biden's proposal to restrict homemade "ghost guns" and increase "red flag" laws and background check requirements.

On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace asked Abbott about the Bryan, Texas, shooting specifically and whether it means he should support some, or even any, kind of gun control reform. The incident left one person dead and five injured.

Abbott's rationale for not supporting any gun control measures at all is that he says he talked to family members of 1 of the 6 people shot last week in Bryan, Texas, & they told him "the 2nd amendment is there for the purpose of self-defense & we need [that] now more than ever"

— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 11, 2021

But the governor described how he visited the victims' families in the hospital Thursday night after the incident. The mass shooting occurred on the same day Biden announced firearm reforms.

"Let me tell you something about the shooting in Bryan, Texas, that will answer your question," Abbott replied to Wallace. "I went to the hospital where the victims' families were on the night of the shooting. And we hugged and we cried and we talked to them about it. As I was talking to family members of one of the victims, they said: 'Governor please, do not allow this shooting to strip us of our 2nd Amendment rights.'"

"They said the 2nd Amendment is there for the purpose of self-defense and we need that self-defense now more than ever because of the cartels coming into our state, because of gangs operating in our neighborhoods, and because of the defunding of police that make communities more vulnerable and because of bail policies that release people who are very dangerous criminals back into our streets," Abbott continued Sunday.

The brother-in-law of one of the victim's reportedly told KBTX-TV "he is deeply traumatized" by the shooting, relaying details of blood spatter and chaos that occurred amid the deadly incident.

Abbott blasted Biden's gun reform legislation as purely for "show," despite Biden's impassioned Thursday speech calling gun violence an "epidemic." The governor and several fellow Texas Republicans accused the White House of trying to enforce a "liberal power grab to take away our guns."

"Texans and Americans know they need their 2nd Amendment rights to defend themselves at a time when the United States governor and other governments are doing less to defend our fellow Americans and that is exactly why we shouldn't have any further limitations to our 2nd Amendment rights," Abbott added.

Biden's reforms also include legislation to regulate pistol-stabilizing braces, which essentially turn smaller firearms into higher-powered and more accurate rifles.

"Biden is threatening our 2nd Amendment rights. He just announced a new liberal power grab to take away our guns. We will NOT allow this in TX. It's time to get legislation making TX a 2nd Amendment Sanctuary State passed and to my desk for signing," Abbott tweeted Thursday.

Newsweek reached out to the White House and Abbott's office for additional remarks.

Abbott's office released an official statement regarding the Bryan, Texas, mass shooting Thursday: "I have been working closely with the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers as they assist local law enforcement on a swift response to this criminal act. Their efforts led to the arrest of the shooting suspect. The state will assist in any way needed to help prosecute the suspect. Cecilia and I are praying for the victims and their families and for the law enforcement officer injured while apprehending the suspect."

Greg Abbott speaking
Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently joined state GOP lawmakers in backing legislation that would allow Texas to simply disregard federal laws on firearms. In this photo, he is speaking at a press conference at the Texas State Capitol on May 18, 2020 in Austin, Texas. Lynda M. Gonzalez/Pool/Getty