Chief Art Acevedo slammed a new Texas bill that would eliminate most handgun licensing requirements in the state on Sunday, calling it "ridiculous" and contrary to the wishes of law enforcement agencies.
Acevedo, who led the Houston
Police Department for five years before taking over as chief of the Miami Police Department in April
, suggested on CBS News
' "Face the Nation" that the so-called "constitutional carry" bill could make officers' jobs
“Look, there is something that God gave us, and that is common sense,” Acevedo told host John Dickerson. “And common sense tells us that that is ridiculous. Law enforcement, police chiefs, sheriffs, and police labor
stood up together and made it very clear that we do not support constitutional carry here in Texas or anywhere else in this country.”
"You're either with law enforcement or you stand on the fringe and believe that everybody should have a firearm regardless of their character, capabilities, or mental capacity," @ArtAcevedo says of a Texas bill that allows carry of a handgun without a background check. pic.twitter.com/EdGW9wo62s — Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) May 30, 2021
The bill, which was approved by the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature
last week, would allow people
to carry handguns without a license, as well as the background checks and training that come with it.
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott
said he would sign the bill despite opposition from law enforcement groups, which warned that the bill could jeopardize public and police officer safety. Texas already has some of the loosest gun laws in the country.
“Most American gun owners do not support constitutional carry,” Acevedo said on Sunday, adding that Abbott only wants to sign the bill to “appear” to care about cops.
“They only support the Blue in words,” he continued, “and it is now time to support the Blue in deed by vetoing that bill. You are either with law enforcement or with the fringe who believe that everyone should have a firearm regardless of their character, capabilities, or mental capacity.”
Acevedo urged Congress
and local lawmakers to take action on gun violence
or risk a continued increase in violent crime
in major cities. According to The Gun Violence Archive, there have been more than a dozen mass murders in the United States
in 2021, defined as four or more people killed.
Earlier Sunday, a mass shooting
occurred outside a banquet hall that had been rented out for a concert in Hialeah, about 20 miles northwest of Miami, killing at least two people and injuring more than 20 others, according to authorities.
“They need to come out of their own corners, the left and right, and come to the middle, which is where most Americans are,” Acevedo said on Sunday. “We need universal background checks, and we need to make burglarizing these licensed gun stores a federal crime with mandatory sentencing.”
“And we need the federal government and both sides to address this issue,” he added, “because without legislation... we won’t get through this summer without much more death
"Gun violence is a public health
epidemic," Miami Police Chief @ArtAcevedo tweeted, adding that "[Americans] need to come out of their own corners, the left and the right, and come to the middle, which is where most Americans are." pic.twitter.com/Kj2m9kYJ1M — Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) May 30, 2021