Gun Rights Activist Stopped by State Troopers at Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen's Home

AUSTIN -- Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen said his Lake Jackson home was under law enforcement surveillance after an outraged gun rights activist said he would visit Bonnen's family home last week to push for a controversial gun bill. Chris McNutt, executive director of Texas Gun Rights, is a supporter of a so-called constitutional carry bill pushed by Bedford Republican Rep. Jonathan Stickland that would allow Texans to carry firearms without the need for a license. Four months into the session, the bill is still pending in the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee, which is run by a Democrat. An upset McNutt began posting rants on Facebook about the legislation's lack of movement, according to the Houston Chronicle. As speaker, Bonnen appointed Democrat Poncho Nevarez of Eagle Pass to run the committee, which usually handles gun legislation.McNutt began visiting the homes of two Bonnen allies -- Reps. Dustin Burrows of Lubbock and Four Price of Amarillo last week. He posted a video of himself in Burrows' neighborhood on the Texas Gun Rights Facebook page. Then, last Wednesday, McNutt showed up in Bonnen's neighborhood about 50 miles south of Houston. The speaker was 200 miles away in Austin presiding over the Texas House's all-day debate over the state budget, the Legislature's top priority every session. State troopers with the Department of Public Safety were waiting for him, according to The Facts, a Brazoria County newspaper that first reported the story. McNutt handed them a business card and left, Bonnen told the Chronicle."That's gutless," Bonnen told the newspaper. "Mr. McNutt knew exactly where I was. I was on the House floor and he chose to go to my home, to Lake Jackson where my 14-year-old son was."Bonnen's wife, Kim, said she was bothered by the fact that McNutt wore a shirt with an assault rifle when he came to her neighborhood. "This cannot become how we advocate," she told the Chronicle. McNutt, who is from Dallas and has worked for North Texas legislators like former state Sen. Don Huffines and Stickland, told the newspaper the speaker's response was a "deliberate overreaction.""If politicians like Speaker Dennis Bonnen think they can show up at the doorsteps of Second Amendment supporters and make promises to earn votes in the election season, they shouldn't be surprised when we show up in their neighborhoods to insist they simply keep their promises in the legislative session," McNutt said.Bonnen, who is a gun owner, said the fate of the bill is not in his hands and he does not dictate how other state representatives in the chamber vote. Last year, Bonnen got an "A" rating from the Texas State Rifle Association. "With that said, do I think this bad policy? Yes. So I'm not running from that," he said. "The bigger point is they can attack me all they want, but don't go to my residence when you know there's zero opportunity of my being there. ... Don't go where my two sons and my wife are and I am not."  Continue reading...

Read More

Copyright The Dallas Morning News
Contact Us