Police Chief Art Acevedo called a new measure approved by Texas state lawmakers on handguns “ridiculous” on Sunday, stating it was a dangerous gamble with safety and lives. The measure would allow people to carry handguns without a license, disregarding the background checks or safety measures that go along […]
Police Chief Art Acevedo called a new measure approved by Texas state lawmakers on handguns "ridiculous" on Sunday, stating it was a dangerous gamble with safety and lives.
The measure would allow people to carry handguns without a license, disregarding the background checks or safety measures that go along with it.
Previously the police chief in Houston and now Miami, Acevedo discussed the "constitutional carry" measure on Face the Nation with host John Dickerson.
"There's something that God gave us and that is common sense, and common sense tells us that that is ridiculous," Acevedo stated when asked about the measure. "Law enforcement, police chiefs, sheriffs, police, labor...stood up together and made it real clear we do not support constitutional carry here in Texas or anywhere in this country."
He added: "You're either with law enforcement or you stand with the fringe that believe that everybody should have a firearm regardless of their character, their capabilities or their mental capacity."
Acevedo was often at odds with GOP leadership while serving as Houston's police chief. In the interview, he implored Republican Governor Greg Abbott to consider the consequences of the measure: "It's now a time to support the blue in deed, by vetoing that bill."
For law enforcement, he said, the measure is dangerous and stifles the work of police that would protect citizens' lives.
"We will not be able to even question someone as to their intent. That means that we won't be able to take any action until that person draws that firearm, walks into that theater and decides to shoot," Acevedo explained.
"We are better than this," he continued. "Americans are better than this. And I think it's time for the common sense to rule the day instead of the rhetoric and the out-of-touch left and right. And sadly, the rest of us are stuck here in the middle."
Governor Greg Abbott is expected to sign the measure, which is backed by the National Rifle Association.
Acevedo's interview came just hours after a shooting in the Miami-Dade area killed two people and left more than 20 injured. Another shooting around the same area took place Friday night, with one dead and seven reportedly injured, according to Acevedo.
The shootings in Miami were "just an indication of the problem we have with the scourge of gun violence in this country that we need to do much more at a federal level to stop," he said.
Acevedo stated that gun violence in America is a "public health epidemic" and suggested things like universal background checks, federally incriminating those who burglarize gun stores and pushing court cases forward so that the system can "get back on track."
He added: "My worry and I think the worry of my colleagues across the country is that as we continue to talk about defunding the police, instead of making the police better and investing in good policing, and on the right, we're talking about more guns for everybody."
President Joe Biden also called on the Senate to quickly pass two measures that would expand background checks after a shooting in Boulder, Colorado, in March that killed 10 people.
"Unless we all start speaking up, speaking out and demanding our elected officials take action, we're going to see a lot more bloodshed. And I'm very sad to say that this summer's going to be a long summer for the American people," Acevedo said.
Newsweek reached out to Acevedo for further comment.