January 30, 2024
There are certain constants in politics that one can always count on. One of those is the National Rifle Association’s penchant for running cover for unprincipled members of the Texas State Legislature. With the 2024 Republican primary elections right around the corner, the NRA is currently doling out its endorsements and defending members of the political establishment from grassroots criticism.
On January 20, 2024, Texas State Representative Jeff Leach announced to his supporters that he received the endorsement the NRA’s Political Victory Fund (PVF).
The NRA said the following about Leach:
“Jeff Leach has been a reliable and consistent friend to gun owners in the fight to defend liberty and freedom in the Texas House. Attempts by political opponents and third-party organizations to misinform voters and distort his policy positions on gun issues are false and dishonest.”
The harsh reality is that Leach is no friend of the Second Amendment. At a time when turncoat Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) was working with Joe Biden’s administration to pass the “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act,” a gun control measure that Biden described as “the most significant gun [control] legislation to pass Congress in 30 years,” Leach drafted a bill — SB 728. This bill would establish a registry for adults who had mental health complications when they were minors. This bill was ostensibly designed to have Texas law comply with the BSCA.
Ironically, Leach co-authored Texas’ so-called “Second Amendment Sanctuary” law in 2021, granting Texas the power to resist any unconstitutional gun control measures passed by the Biden regime.
Sadly, whatever good Leach did with this Second Amendment Sanctuary law went to waste after he voted to pass SB 728, which effectively placed millions of Texans’ records into the NICS Gun Ban Registry.
Like most politicians of this epoch, Leach talks a big game about the Second Amendment. But when the rubber meets the road, Leach backs down when he has to confront the Feds.
Leach also voted to water down Constitutional Carry on university campuses by voting against an amendment that would have ended the “gun free” zones aka criminal safe spaces in institutions of higher education that are often targeted by violent gunmen. In typical establishment fashion, Leach voted against broadening Constitutional Carry to all legal adults, which includes single mothers and individuals in the age range of 18 to 20 — prime years for military service.
To make matters worse, Leach voted against extending Constitutional Carry on lands that the Lower Colorado River Authority manages, which includes many camping sites statewide. Overall, Jeff Leach’s voting record against pro-gun amendments would create a confusing maze of gun laws that could have otherwise lawful gun owners running into legal problems.
During a time when Leach could have used his precious time and political capital to pass several pro-gun reforms such as the Second Amendment Preservation Act (SAPA) and a prohibition on “Red Flag” gun confiscation orders, he decided to spend his time trying to impeach Attorney General Ken Paxton — one of America’s most pro-gun AGs.
Establishment politicians like Leach also don’t like when their voting records and political machinations are exposed by grassroots activists. Hence his decision to team up with anti-gun Democrats to vote for the Texas Gag Act. Said legislation would have compelled organizations such as Texas Gun Rights to release their whole list of membership records and donors for simply talking about a politician’s voting record.
The forced disclosure of donors could leave groups and their supporters susceptible to political reprisals from unhinged leftist organizations such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter. A chilling effect on free speech would soon surface because of such legislation, which would shield the political class from legitimate criticism.
Leach’s behavior is typical of the Texas political class. State Representative Glenn Rogers also shared the same dubious distinction of selling out gun owners by following in Leach’s footsteps in terms of his anti-gun voting behavior.
In fact, when TXGR placed a billboard to expose Rogers’ voting record on SB 728, he went on social media to complain about the billboard, calling TXGR activists liars because “other Republicans voted for it [SB 728], too.” Rogers has a history of being rather lukewarm on the Second amendment.
Back in February 2020, when he was asked if he backed Constitutional Carry at Hood County Candidate Forum, Rogers indicated that he would only support legal carry with training mandates. In effect, when every other candidate at the forum supported Constitutional Carry, Rogers was in favor of keeping the gun licensing status quo and opposing Constitutional Carry. In this timeframe, Rogers refused to return his completed TXGR candidate survey and go publicly on important issues connected to the Second Amendment.
However, the grassroots pressure finally got to Rogers after he ended up voting for a clean Constitutional Carry bill in 2021.
What we see with Leach and Rogers is a problem that’s widespread in the Texas House. It ultimately starts at the top with House Speaker Dade Phelan. The Speaker has not only backed the previously mentioned anti-gun moves, he created a gun control committee in 2023 made up of 7 Republicans and 6 Democrats.
The Vice Chairman of the committee — Jarvis Johnson — and 3 other Democrats who have received endorsements from Bloomberg-backed gun control organizations. Further, Joe Moody, who has authored “red flag” gun confiscation legislation in the last three legislative sessions, was a part of this committee.
Two Republicans on the committee — Justin Holland and Sam Harless — teamed up with Democrats to put forward a bill to prevent lawful adults between the ages of 18 to 20 from buying or owning specific kinds of rifles.
Dade Phelan’s committee appointments ultimately enabled anti-gun liberals to prevent the passage of the Second Amendment Preservation Act (HB 5153) and the bill to prohibit “red flag” gun confiscation laws in the Lone Star State (HB 1894), the latter of which were also assisted by Holland and Harless. In all likelihood, the NRA will overlook Phelan and his cronies’ spotty Second Amendment records and endorse them.
In the case of Holland, the Republican with the worst record on gun rights in 2023, he escaped with a “C” rating by the NRA instead of an “F.” And Sam Harless’ was mysteriously not listed on the NRA’s voter guide as of the writing of this article.
That’s just how the establishment gun lobby operates. The good news is that as long as TXGR exists, gun owners in the Lone Star State who desire a restoration of the Second Amendment will always have a no compromise option to rely on for their pro-gun needs.