Texas Governor Under Fire For Remark About Reporters At Gun Range

Gov. Greg Abbott Gun Range
Gov. Abbott admires his practice target after signing Senate Bill 16, which reduces the first-time fee for a license to carry handguns, on May 26, 2017. Image Source: Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

An off the cuff comment by Texas Governor Greg Abbott has drawn criticism from gun control and free press advocates who called his remarks “dangerous.”

Gov. Abbott signed Senate Bill 16 into law, lowering the cost of a handgun license, at an indoor gun range in Austin on Friday. The law reduces the first-time fee for a license to carry from $140 to $40 and the renewal fee from $70 to $40. A license to carry permit is valid in Texas for five years. The new fee will go into effect on Sept. 1.

The Governor then demonstrated his own shooting skills on the gun range before holding up his target and saying, “I’m gonna carry this around in case I see any reporters.”

A photo of the moment, published by the Texas Tribune, showed the grinning first-term Republican governor pointing to the center of the paper target, where three rounds had pierced the bull’s eye circle.

His comment drew sharp rebukes from Reporters Without Borders, headquartered in Paris, and the Washington-based Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Both said the incident was especially troubling as it came amid increasingly hostile rhetoric directed against the news media by Republican President Donald Trump and his supporters.

“This joke was dangerous and out of line. Because it’s never just a joke to some,” Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said in a statement. “Words matter. In a state and country where dangerous people can still so easily buy guns without a background check, leaders of every political stripe should be careful not to green light violence on their behalf.”

The two groups also cited the misdemeanor assault charge filed on Wednesday against Republican Congressman-elect Greg Gianforte of Montana, accused of body-slamming a reporter who asked him about healthcare on the eve of his election.

“Politicians must condemn this dangerous rhetoric against reporters as it can quickly escalate to physical violence like we saw in Montana,” Reporters Without Borders said in a Tweet.


Of course, there is also the possibility that the Texas Governor’s remark was meant as nothing more than wanting to show off his skill to any reporters he might see. Perhaps this is nothing more than thin-skinned overreaction on the part of some, but then again a “thinly veiled threat” against reporters by a Republican Governor is much more “newsworthy” than a Governor being proud of his accomplishments at the range. Shooting from a wheelchair no less. If they can blame it on President Trump then it becomes even more “newsworty.”

About the Author

Jon Britton
Author, Advocate, Blogger & Zombie Aficionado. Air Force veteran and jack of all trades, with a wide range of experience with many different cultures around the world as well as working alongside both CEOs and average Joes. "Writing was never a goal or even vaguely contemplated as a career choice, it just happened, an accidental discovery of a talent and a passion." A passion that has taken him in many directions from history to zombies to advocacy to News especially in this day and age of "Fake News" and "Alternative Facts." The Truth Is Out There!

3 Comments on "Texas Governor Under Fire For Remark About Reporters At Gun Range"

  1. Avatar Talbot Deburgerand | May 28, 2017 at 5:55 am | Reply

    Great news! I always wanted a Texas Permit and they were JUST out of my price range. Now I will get one for sure!

  2. Yeah, Protect those dumb ass reporters, you know the ones, they are the ones that print this kind of crap and call it headlines. Worse still, they call this news!

  3. Liberals find any tiny miniscule thing to cry about. Nobody cares about their thin skinned asses. ..

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