A statement from Jeffrey Payne, candidate for Governor of Texas, Feb. 16, 2018
A 19-year-old boy walked into a Florida School with an AR-15 style assault rifle and began shooting students. Like clockwork, politicians began offering “thoughts and prayers” and blaming mental illness. The families of the children killed and wounded will not be consoled by those pious words.
I cannot in good conscience merely offer thoughts and prayers. Instead I offer a quote from Scripture. 1John 3:18: "...let us not love with words or speech but with actions..."
Now is the time to take action.
Now is the time to talk about a sensible firearms policy and it begins with verifiable background checks and registering bills of sale for all firearms. It begins by acknowledging that weapons like the AR-15 have no business in civilian hands. This is made painfully obvious by the number of mass shootings involving these military assault rifles.
The time to enact a sensible firearms policy is now.
We cannot expect the Republican controlled Texas Legislature to take any action. Frankly, they receive far too much money from the NRA and other gun manufacturing lobby groups to make any moves that would limit gun sales. That fact speaks volumes about their values. Apparently, school children are far less valuable than Texans unencumbered access to assault weapons. If this is not the case, then I invite them to prove me wrong with actions, not words.
If Texans want anything to change, it will require action, and that action means voting for candidates who are not willing to bow down to the blood money of the NRA.
Contrary to what the GOP would have you believe, I am not going to take Texans guns away. I am advocating for a system where we can keep military grade weapons off our streets and out of the hands of children. Law enforcement agencies have long sought a registry of who has purchased guns, it is common sense.
It is time we stopped thinking and praying and started acting. Anything short of action is apostasy.
Common Sense Firearms Policy
Common-sense laws should not infringe on the right to own guns, but should enhance our community safety. Both our state and federal constitutions guarantee the right to bear arms, and I support responsible gun ownership. As part of a common-sense firearms policy, I support the following:
Verifiable background checks. We need some mechanism to prosecute those who supply false information on firearms background checks.
All gun transactions, not just the original purchase, first should include a Bill of Sale filed with the state to protect the seller and buyer. This should be the buyers’ and sellers’ responsibility for 10 years or given to local law and held on there for ten years. Tracing illegal gun sales is impossible without this.
Automatic weapons and devices that transform semi-automatic into automatic weapons have no business in private hands.
Firearm limitations for:
Our schools and universities unless carried by law enforcement or security personnel.
Repeat alcohol and drug offenders. We take licenses away from people for several DUI offenses, why not the same standard for buying firearms?
Individuals who have restraining orders against them for domestic abuse so long as the order is in place. A spouse should not live in fear that his or her abusive partner can obtain a gun.
Individuals in institutional treatment for mental health issues when released. The current five-year probationary period is not long enough.
People who qualify for the government’s “No-Fly” list.
Lastly, a state supported Gun Safety Awareness campaign is needed. Gun safety in primary schools and safe gun ownership in secondary schools should be mandatory. Far too many children die every year from accidental gunshot wounds. Moreover, gun owners should be held responsible if their firearms accidentally fall into the hands of their children.