Texas Sheriff Sparks Controversy by Calling Gun Ownership a Privilege

(HorizonPost.com) – The sheriff of Fort Bend County, Texas who is running for reelection next year sat down for an interview with KRPC in Houston in which he was asked if he would support stricter gun laws, particularly requiring additional training for gun ownership.

Sheriff Eric Fagan said the state should pursue laws that are “not partisan” but are “proactive.”

Fagan supported gun owners undergoing more training, saying, “I’m all for that.” He added that he would also support checking for mental illness before allowing an individual to purchase a firearm or get a driver’s license. He explained that if the state can deny someone a driver’s license for an illness like epilepsy, then “why can’t we do the same with a gun?”

Further comparing driving to gun ownership, Fagan said in Texas, owning a gun should be a privilege, not a right. He said Texans must “earn that privilege.”

Fagan also addressed calls for placing an age restriction on gun ownership at either 21 or 22 years old, due to what he described as “brain development.”

He said while it might be true that at 18 the brain isn’t fully developed, he would “stand up” and “say no” since parents can train their children at a young age and he has “no problem with that.” He said if the parents can demonstrate that their child is proficient with a gun, he would be “fine with it.”

At the same time, Fagan insisted that the state must have “common sense,” insisting that all he is “asking for” is “common sense.”

As blogger Cam Edwards observed in a column at Bearing Arms, the Texas constitution does not call gun ownership a “privilege.” It expressly states that citizens have “the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State.”

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