Oppose HB 1927 and a culture of violence
As Catholic bishops in the state of Texas, we bear responsibility for the pastoral care of people. We oppose HB 1927, known as the “permitless carry” bill. This bill, should it become law, would remove important safeguards to protect human life in our local communities.
As pastors we are alarmed at the aggressive calls for the unfettered presence of weapons carried into public places. Many of our communities have been shattered by mass shootings; and many more live in fear of these violent events. We have all seen the loss of lives, the suffering of victims, the inconsolable sorrow at the funerals.
We must confront this growing culture of violence with a commitment to life, a vision of hope, and a call to action. HB 1927 fails to reflect a commitment to life or a vision of hope and instead accomplishes nothing more than to make it easier for potentially violent persons to act in anger or delusion. This will cause people to feel more threatened and more afraid.
Too often we have seen how guns are used in the public forum by someone acting in anger. Instead of relying on law enforcement and our justice system, people with guns in public areas can become the aggrieved, the jury and the judge, in swift and violent sequence. Passions can quickly escalate when a gun is present in a disagreement among people. Instead of resolving issues by peaceful, civil actions, a permitless carry law will further advance the mentality that every individual is a law unto himself or herself. Respect for the dignity of human life and moral responsibility will be further eroded.
HB 1927 risks increasing the number of deaths, as more untrained individuals would be carrying guns in more public spaces. We are also concerned this bill would allow those with mental health issues to carry handguns. This would place our communities at greater risk of harm.
Catholics and all people of good will are urged to contact their state senators and the governor to support policy and legislative measures that uphold the safety and well-being of all persons in our communities and to oppose HB 1927. Law enforcement officials do not support HB 1927, as it makes their oath to protect the public much more difficult. Nor do we, since it advances a culture of violence that puts everyone at further risk.
Published May 3, 2021
Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston
Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, M.Sp.S, Archbishop of San Antonio
Bishop Patrick J. Zurek, Bishop of Amarillo
Bishop Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin
Bishop David L. Toups, Bishop of Beaumont
Bishop Daniel E. Flores, Bishop of Brownsville
Bishop William Michael Mulvey, Bishop of Corpus Christi
Bishop Edward J. Burns, Bishop of Dallas
Bishop Mark J. Seitz, Bishop of El Paso
Bishop Michael F. Olson, Bishop of Fort Worth
Bishop James Tamayo, Bishop of Laredo
Bishop Robert M. Coerver, Bishop of Lubbock
Bishop Stephen Lopes, Bishop of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter
Bishop Michael J. Sis, Bishop of San Angelo
Bishop Joseph Strickland, Bishop of Tyler
Bishop Brenden Cahill, Bishop of Victoria