BUSH   AND   GUNS
Bush sides with the NRA and against law enforcement on every major gun safety measure including closing the gun show loophole, concealed weapons, and mandatory child safety locks.
- Concealed Weapons :
Bush Signed NRA-backed Concealed Gun Bill. In 1995, Bush signed an NRA-backed bill to allow private citizens to carry concealed handguns in Texas, ending a 125-year ban on concealed weapons.
[ Dallas Morning News, 5/27/95; Oil and Gas Journal, 6/19/95 ]
- Bush Signed Bill Allowing Guns In Churches :
In 1997, Bush signed a bill that allowed Texans to bring their guns into churches and synagogues unless a sign specifically barred them from doing so.
[ Texas HB2909, 75th Legislature, www.capitol.state.tx.us; Legislative History, Texas HB2909, 75th Legislature, www.capitol.state.tx.us ]
- Bush Failed to Enforce Existing Guns Laws in TX :
Did Not Prosecute Felons Who Illegally Possessed Guns. The Houston Chronicle reported that under Bush’s watch, Texas authorities knew of more than 600 convicted felons who may have illegally possessed firearms, but the state did nothing to prosecute these felons.
[ Houston Chronicle, 12/9/99 ]
- Gun Shows :
Bush Bowed to NRA, Failed to Lead on Background Checks Legislation. Bush claimed to support background check requirements for unlicenced dealers at gun shows, but declined to assist the passage of a state bill on that very issue. Bush claimed the federal government should solve the gun show problem, but only endorsed an NRA-supported, loophole-filled amendment.
[ Houston Chronicle, 4/27/99; Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 5/22/99 ]
- Texas Leads the Nation in Number of Guns Shows.
Under Bush, Texas offered convicted felons more opportunities to purchase guns than any other state in the country through a loophole that allows people to purchase guns at gun shows with no background check. Texas led the country with 472 gun shows in 1998 -- 222 more shows than the state in second place. San Antonio police testified that 20 percent of guns convicted felons and juveniles used to commit crimes in Texas in 1998 were purchased at gun shows.
[ San Antonio Express-News, 3/18/99, 4/14/99; South Bend Tribune, 2/18/99 ]
- Child Safety :
Bush Opposes Mandatory Child Safety Locks. Bush opposes mandatory gun safety locks -- instead he thinks the locks should still be voluntary.
[ Christian Science Monitor, 5/13/99 ]
- Texas Received "D" in Protecting Kids from Guns.
Texas received a "D" -- the sixth worst grade in the nation -- from Handgun Control, Inc. for failing to pass laws to protect kids from guns. The national gun-control group cited Texas’ failure to prohibit juveniles from owning handguns, as well as the state’s prohibition of municipal laws that are stricter than state law.
[ Houston Chronicle, 9/15/98 ]
- Special Rights for Gun Makers :
Bush Signed NRA-Backed Bill Giving Gun Manufacturers Special Rights. In 1999, Bush signed legislation -- called the "gun lobby’s top priority" -- that gives gun makers special protection from being held liable for the design and marketing of their products.
[ New York Times, 6/20/99; Associated Press, 5/19/99; Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 5/18/99 ]
- Texas Supplies Guns for Out-of-State Crimes :
Texas Is a Major Out-of-State Supplier of Guns to Criminals. In 1998, federal agents traced 1,176 guns used in crimes outside of Texas to Texas gun dealers. In fact, Texas ranked fifth among out-of-state gun suppliers to criminals for weapons that could be traced; guns sold through the gun show loophole were not counted in this survey.
[ Houston Chronicle, 6/13/99 ]