Gun legislation

Some Republicans Voice Support for Gun Measures in Full-Page Ad

The ad, in The Dallas Morning News, is an open letter to Sen. John Cornyn

NBCUniversal, Inc.

A group of Republicans showed their support for gun legislation in a full-page advertisement in Sunday's edition of The Dallas Morning News.

The advertisement served as an open letter to U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and showed support for both gun measures and the Texas senator.

Todd Maclin, retired vice chairman for JP Morgan and Chase Company, paid for the ad. He offered the following statement to NBC 5.

“I grew up in San Antonio, only 90 miles from Uvalde. I have four children and four grandchildren under the age of 5. I am a lifelong hunter and believe in the second amendment. I felt more could be done to promote gun safety and gun responsibility.  When I learned that our Senator John Cornyn would lead the effort, I became encouraged to take action. I know him well. He is the right person at the right time and in the right place to make this happen."

The group listed in the ad supports expanding background checks, red flag laws and the consideration of raising the age to buy a gun from 18 to 21. The letter is comprised of Republicans, with well-known names like Maclin and Ray Hunt of Hunt Consolidated.

“The response from like-minded conservatives has been overwhelming," said Maclin. "We received 250 responses in less than 24 hours, to meet the newspaper deadline. Friends and friends of friends from Texas and beyond. Our list is comprised of those that vote for Republican senators and support their efforts to do more. They believe in Red Flag Rules, Universal Background Checks, and wish to give more consideration to stricter age limits. And even after the newspaper ad, I am receiving many more emails and names of support."

Cornyn's office said last week that negotiations are continuing. His office did not comment on the letter to NBC 5.

The ad comes as pressure mounts on lawmakers after the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.

"We're talking about a meaningful change in our gun laws,” said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, on CNN’s State of the Union.

"Certainly can't guarantee any outcome, but it feels to me like we are closer than we've been since I’ve been in the Senate,” said Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, on CBS’s Face the Nation.

SMU political science professor Matthew Wilson views this letter as a signal to Republican elected officials to negotiate on gun measures.

“That is something that Republican elected officials have been fearful of doing in the past because of potential backlash within their own party, so getting this signal from important donors to the party that it’s OK to consider certain limited gun control measures is a really important political sign,” Wilson said.

As for whether Maclin has heard from Cornyn, and what happens from here?

“As a courtesy, I did email him a copy of the advertisement, right before publication.  I know he is very busy and totally understand why he has not responded. I believe he has read our message, appreciates our support, so I prefer that he focus on his business at hand! From here, we will continue to build our ranks, and continue to support our Republican Senators as they work to get responsible legislation proposed and passed," added Maclin.

Contact Us