Texas Lawmakers Vote For 'Panic Button' After Harassment By Pro-Gun Group

| by Michael Allen

Some members of the pro-gun group Open Carry Tarrant County reportedly harassed Texas State Rep. Poncho Nevarez, a Democrat, in his office on Jan. 13 after he turned down the group's request to support House Bill 195, which would allow people in Texas to openly carry handguns without a permit.

State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer claimed the same group created a "very hostile situation" in his office at the Texas Capitol in Austin. He wasn't present for the incident, but said his staff told him.

In response to the incidents, the Texas House voted to install panic buttons to notify the Department of Public Safety and allow lawmakers to eject hostile people from their offices "at their discretion."

In response, Kory Watkins, the leader of Open Carry Tarrant County, told the Houston Chronicle, "We need a panic button for people who don't obey their oath to (the) Constitution."

Watkins posted a more extreme response on his Facebook page, "The new panic button in Austin ends your free speech. People are not even finding out if their rep had anything to do with it. When the masters are tired of hearing from their slaves they will press a button and they are done. Land of the free home of the brave. This is tyranny folks. They took our freedom in the name of their safety. Do you comprehend?"

Watkins also posted: "Wonder how the Jews turned out begging Hitler for their rights back. Maybe they should have put their foot in the door!!!!!!!!!!!" and "If a foot in the door of a tyrant's office bothers you more than a tyrant mocking the people and the Constitution, you are the problem. I am demanding freedom, you keep begging for it. See who is more effective in getting it."

Sources: Houston Chronicle, Facebook Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons Microchip08