More than two weeks after running into a couple of state troopers outside Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen's house in Angleton, gun rights activist Chris McNutt spoke out against Bonnen at a news conference Tuesday. He refused to take the blame for the Texas Legislature's apparent failure to expand gun rights this session and accused Bonnen of lying about the incident.
Bonnen announced that the 2019 "constitutional carry" bill — a priority for gun rights groups that would allow anyone in Texas to purchase and carry a gun without a permit — was dead on April 5 after McNutt, frustrated by the bill's lack of movement early in the legislative session, visited the homes of Bonnen and two of his closest allies in the Texas House.
"If you want to talk about issues and you want to advocate, you do it in this building. You don’t do it at our residences," Bonnen said, according to The Dallas Morning News. "Threats and intimidation will never advance your issue. Their issue is dead."
McNutt said he never actually made it onto Bonnen's property.
"When I was in the speaker's neighborhood canvassing several houses, I saw DPS troopers parked out front of his house," McNutt said. "I actually approached them directly. I wasn't intercepted, detained or arrested or anything. I approached them and told them what I was doing, and they actually offered to place the flyer on the speaker's door for me."
The troopers were in front of Bonnen's house in response to McNutt's ranting about the speaker on Facebook, according to the Houston Chronicle.
In spite of Bonnen's resistance to constitutional carry, McNutt said he and his gun advocacy group, Texas Gun Rights, would continue their fight to make sure gun owners can carry their guns wherever they want, with or without a permit, Yosemite Sam-style.
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"We're going to keep up with our program. We're going to do what we always do," McNutt said. "We're going to make sure that the constituents of Speaker Bonnen and those involved are held accountable for their actions. Moving forward, through our issue advocacy in the primaries and moving forward through the next legislative session."
Bonnen's office declined to comment specifically on McNutt's comments but sent the Observer the following statement:
“It appears someone has forgotten the law of holes. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging,” spokeswoman Cait Meisenheimer said.