Houston Police Chief Joins Hundreds of Other Top Officers in Protesting NRA

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, center, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, right, and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, right in blue, join demonstrators during a March for Our Lives rally in Houston on March 24. (Photo: David J. Phillip, AP)

A bitter social media episode pitting the Houston police chief against the NRA has erupted as hundreds of police chiefs nationwide are lining up against the gun lobby giant over controversial concealed-carry legislation.

Chief Art Acevedo, who has called the bill “a bad idea,” had an angry Tweet-storm encounter emerge from last week’s deadly school shooting at Santa Fe High, about 30 miles south of Houston. Eight students and two teachers died before the teen shooter surrendered to police.

Acevedo, who discussed the bill in one of the tweets, also raised the notion of legal action against the NRA for “twisting” the truth.

The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, awaiting Senate action, would require states to recognize concealed carry permits regardless of where they are issued. More than 400 U.S. police chiefs have signed a letter opposing the legislation.

The House approved the bill in December in what NRA lobbyist Chris Cox called a “watershed moment for Second Amendment rights.” The group claims chiefs who opposed the bill in a recent letter “have abandoned their constituents in order to curry favor from out-of-state political interests.”

The letter, however, describes the bill as a “dangerous encroachment on individual state efforts to protect public safety” because states requiring more stringent standards would be compelled to allow visitors from states with more relaxed rules to carry concealed firearms.

That has big-city police chiefs such as Houston’s Art Acevedo, New York’s James O’Neill and Boston’s William Evans on edge.

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SOURCE: USA Today, John Bacon