In a series of tweets, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said that federal gun control policies have “failed thousands of families” and that stricter laws should be put in place to prevent mass shootings.
Acevedo tweeted he has “spoken out against gun violence” on numerous occasions and asked, “When will we stand up and say enough?”
Acevedo also addressed his critics, who said the memories of the victims of the Las Vegas shooting are too recent and raw for a political discussion on gun control.
“If not now, then when?” Acevedo tweeted. “To those that say it is too soon, I say it’s too late. We’ve failed thousands of families, of all ages, races and faith. Stand up and be heard.”
Acevedo, who took over for former Chief Charles McCullers last November, has been a gun control advocate throughout his career. In March 2013, when he served as the chief of police in Austin, he spoke to a meeting of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, a group of police chiefs in major cities. In that speech, he advocated universal background checks, including mental health records.
“Currently, our system possesses gaps and loopholes that make it easy for criminals and the dangerously mental ill to gain access to guns,” he said. “The universal background check is a first and essential step toward comprehensive reform of gun laws. Without this essential element, there can be no lasting impact on gun violence.”
Acevedo also advocated closing the “gun show loophole,” which exempts private sellers of firearms from conducting background checks on buyers, and making the “straw purchase” of a firearm. A “straw purchase is a federal offense in which a legal buyer purchases a gun for someone who is not allowed to make such a purchase.