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Could Guns Be a Key Issue in the Texas Governor’s Race?

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Texas State Senator Wendy Davis hasn’t announced whether or not she will run for Governor. Is she does though, you can bet that the 2nd Amendment will be one of the key issues of debate. According to the Texas Tribune, Davis did vote to allow student to leave guns in their cars while attending college, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t for restrictions.

The topic of gun restrictions will spice things up, too.

Davis, who became an instant political celebrity after filibustering a restrictive abortion bill in June, voted in favor of allowing students to carry guns in their vehicles on college campuses. She is a gun owner and has said she believes the Second Amendment guarantees Americans that right. In a lot of states, that would probably put her in the pro-gun camp.

But this is Texas, where licensed gun toters are allowed to bypass the metal detectors at the state Capitol and the sitting governor once shot a coyote to death while jogging. Ann Richards, the last Democratic governor, found out the hard way that getting between Texans and their guns can be politically dangerous. She opposed concealed handgun legislation and vetoed a referendum on it, handing George W. Bush a great campaign issue in 1994. Texans got a concealed carry law in Bush’s first session as governor.

Despite the risks, Davis, known for waging sometimes lonely political battles, has not been afraid to pick a fight over guns — in particular over gun shows.

As a member of the Fort Worth City Council, Davis tried to impose restrictions on guns shows held at municipal facilities. She wanted to ensure that people were buying from licensed dealers or otherwise faced background checks.

Under current law, nothing prevents people at gun shows from buying guns from other people attending them. Critics say evil-doers exploit this loophole by buying and selling firearms at gun shows, often in large quantities, that later show up at crime scenes. According to a recent reportin the Dallas Observer, for example, a Texas man went to numerous gun shows around the state to purchase dozens of assault rifles that authorities say were sold at a high profit to buyers who sent them to Mexico.

According to the report, one of his gun show stops was the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth, which would have been regulated by the restrictions Davis unsuccessfully sought.

In a recent interview, Davis didn’t back down from her position on gun shows, though she acknowledged it’s not a politically popular one. She said that if she were governor, she would leave the issue to the will of the Legislature but would happily sign gun show regulations into law.

“I haven’t pursued it as a senator because I know it’s like spitting in the wind,” she said. “But I still believe it’s the right thing. And if I were governor and a bill came to my desk that provided for background checks at gun shows, I would sign that.”

That position puts her at odds with the front-running GOP candidate for governor, Attorney General Greg Abbott. When Travis County and the city of Austin were mulling gun show restrictions several months ago, Abbott warned on Twitter that they better start preparing for “a double-barreled lawsuit.”

We still wait to see if Wendy Davis decides to run for Governor, but I can’t trust her when it comes to standing up for the 2nd Amendment. Personally I’d like to hear more from the candidates about guns and Campus/Open Carry.

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