Brian Babin

U.S. Rep. Rep. Brian Babin, R-Woodville, is calling for support of the Threat Assessment, Prevention, and Safety (TAPS) Act of 2019 that he introduced in January along with Rep. Val Demings, a Democrat from Florida.

He also said in an interview on Fox News that he does not agree with President Trump’s call for “red flag” laws that would prevent legal gun sales to people “judged to be a grave risk to public safety.”

Babin said, “Red flag laws do have potential to stop it, but also to do harm as well. Because a red flag law is an infringement, can be used to infringe upon your constitutional rights. Not saying it will happen, but it could happen.”

Asked whether it is appropriate for civilians to have access to AK-47s that can kill many people in seconds, Babin, who represents the greater Baytown area, dismissed the idea.

 “We always see a knee-jerk reaction, the Democrats go to gun-control, the Republicans go to ‘let’s arm everybody.’ We have to get away from the weapon and the instrument of use here. We’ve got to be proactive,” he said. “Once the first shot is fired, you’re too late. You can’t be reactive and that’s why we have to be proactive. The TAPS Act, HR 838, would be proactive. We can get this and do it bipartisanly. The people want it.”

The TAPS act would not address guns, but would provide training to improve the ability of local law enforcement to recognize and manage potential threats based on the methods already used to protect the president and other high-profile persons.

A fact sheet Babin released about the bill said, “Pioneered by the U.S. Secret Service, behavioral threat assessment and management has proven successful in protecting our presidents and foreign dignitaries. If this process works to protect the president, elected officials, foreign dignitaries, and even celebrities, why aren’t we using it to protect our children and local communities?”

In introducing the bill, he said, “The TAPS Act will provide our states and local communities with the resources, training, and support needed to stand up community-driven, multidisciplinary behavioral threat assessment units--allowing us to connect the dots and manage threats before an attack can occur.”

Polls show that what most people want is action. More than three-fifths of Americans believe gun laws should be “more strict than they are now.” Some 92% support requiring universal background checks for all gun purchases and a sizable majority also supports a ban on the sale of semi-automatic assault rifles.

Babin’s official House website boasts of his gun rights support. “I am fully committed to supporting the Second Amendment as a protected right guaranteed to individuals in the U.S. Constitution. My work in the Congress has earned me top ratings from the National Rifle Association and Gun Owners of America.”

“As a Member of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus and the Congressional Second Amendment Caucus,” he added, “we are working to protect these rights from gun-grabbing extremists.”

Babin coming to town

Babin will provide a legislative update at the September Baytown Chamber of Commerce Membership Luncheon Sept. 3.

The cost of the lunch and program is $35 for Chamber members and $40 for non-members, and reservations are required by Aug. 22.

For reservations call 281-422-8359 or email rikki@baytownchamber.com.

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