Standing in front of a wall-to-wall rifle display, U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, told a small group of constituents and journalists Wednesday at McBride’s Guns that the Obama administration's effort to restrict gun access in response to recent mass shootings is “slogans over solutions.”
“It seems the Biden task force had a predetermined result from the beginning in wanting to enact more gun laws rather than address the root of the problem,” Williams said. “The solution will have to look at all the issues involved, including mental health policy as well as violence in our entertainment and our video games.”
Williams, who is on the House Budget Committee, did not give specific details as to how Congress might financially respond to mental health concerns. “Funding is always important to the extent that we have it,” he said, adding that he wants to start a "dialogue" with mental health professionals.
President Obama presented four legislative proposals in early January in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., asking Congress to reinstate a ban on semi-automatic assault rifles that expired in 2004 and to also ban production of large capacity magazines. He also added 23 executive orders, including starting a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign and maximizing enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence.
Williams said banning semi-automatic assault rifles and large-capacity magazines are cosmetic solutions that could hurt gun owners.
“These are semi-automatic guns that essentially shoot the same kinds of bullets as small game hunting rifles,” he said.
Williams said gun owners should be able to use large capacity magazines, because if they are using a weapon to protect against an intruder, they will "not have time to stop and reload."
McBride’s Guns owner Joe McBride echoed Williams criticism of Obama. “I think they have ideas about how they want to regulate everything, not just the Second Amendment, the other amendments as well,” McBride said.
Williams also said he favored local control when it comes to Texas school policies on allowing teachers to carry concealed handguns. “When you look at the history of gun violence on campuses, if people [had] been armed [during the shootings], maybe they would not have happened,” he said.