Texas GOP donors urge Congress to act on gun control measures

An open letter in Sunday’s Dallas Morning News endorses red-flag laws, expanded background checks and a higher age minimum to buy firearms.

“Most law enforcement experts believe these measures would make a difference,” the letter reads. “And recent polls of fellow conservatives suggest that there is strong support for such gun-safety measures.” The letter voices support for Texas’ senior senator, John Cornyn, who has been tapped to lead bipartisan negotiations in Congress on possible gun reform measures.

The letter was paid for by Todd Maclin, a former senior executive at J.P. Morgan Chase who now runs the Dallas-based finance firm Maclin Management. Maclin said he is a conservative gun owner who has been stirred to action by the shooting in Uvalde.

“These events have really motivated me and really gotten under my skin and encouraged me to support the effort that’s underway,” Maclin told The Texas Tribune. “I just felt like I needed to do something, and I also believe that there are reasonable things that can be done.”

He said he is still hearing from more conservative gun owners who are feeling a “great sense of urgency and a great need to support [Cornyn] as he does his best to address these issues.”

In the wake of the 2017 Sutherland Springs shooting outside San Antonio, Cornyn worked with Democratic colleagues to improve the background check system to prevent felons and domestic abusers from purchasing firearms.

After last week’s shooting, Cornyn has said he’s “not interested in making a political statement,” but is focused on making “the terrible events that occurred in Uvalde less likely in the future.”