A year after El Paso shooting, new survey shows that President Trump and his Republican Senate’s total refusal to pass measures like universal background checks could hurt their standing with Texas Latinx voters
Washington, D.C. — New polling from Giffords and Latino Victory Project finds Texas Latinx voters not only are broadly supportive of stronger gun laws, they also want candidates who will make gun safety a priority. One year after the shooting in El Paso, Texas, the survey makes clear that Latinx voters want more to be done, with nearly 3 out of 4 Latinos in Texas believing gun laws should be stronger than they are now.
While a supermajority views support of gun safety as a requirement for a candidate vying for their support, many are not sure where President Trump and Senator John Cornyn stand on measures like universal background checks. Reminding Latinx voters in Texas that Trump and his Senate allies refused to pass any gun safety measures, particularly after El Paso, could impact who they vote for this year.
“Texas Latinx voters are gun safety voters,” Giffords Executive Director Peter Ambler said. “Gun safety now ranks as a top issue because the Latinx community in Texas views the lethal combination of easy access to guns and racist hate as a direct threat to their safety. To win in Texas, candidates need to be leaders who are committed to stopping individuals motivated by hate from obtaining firearms. They need to be champions for policies like universal background checks, which will help us create a safer America for everyone. Motivated by the tragedy in El Paso, fed up with day-to-day gun violence, and ready for a new direction, Latinx voters are poised to decide the swing state of Texas and know where they stand on the issue of gun violence.”
“Latino voters want to live in a community without fear of gun violence and hatred fueled by anti-Latino rhetoric. Our lives are not negotiable,” said Mayra Macías, Latino Victory Project executive director. “Latinos will determine races across Texas, and they’re ready to hold their representatives accountable at the ballot box. While candidates like Congresswoman Veronica Escobar and State Rep. Cesar Blanco advocate for gun safety measures, there are plenty of Republicans like U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and President Donald Trump who are beholden by the NRA and other pro-gun lobbyists and refuse to listen to the majority of Americans. Things have changed in Texas, and Latino voters will reflect this change by voting for candidates who will advocate for gun control measures like universal background checks and condemn anti-Latino rhetoric.”
The poll of Texas Latinx voters found overwhelming support for commonsense gun violence prevention solutions like universal background checks. According to the poll, 86% of registered Latinx voters in Texas support universal background checks and 85% support extreme risk protection orders, laws that allow the temporary removal of firearms from those deemed a danger to themselves or those around them.
Latinx voters believe that a combination of easy access to guns and racism were the biggest contributing factors in the El Paso shooting. Following the shooting at the Walmart in El Paso, Texas, 73% of Latinx voters believe that the shooter’s own words were inspired by racist rhetoric from President Trump. Over half of Latinx voters assigned the most weight and responsibility to:
- Easy access to assault and military-style weapons (65%).
- Lax laws that make it easy for dangerous people to buy guns (63%).
- Trump’s anti-immigrant and anti-Latinx rhetoric (62%).
- Rise in white supremacy and nationalism (60%).
Last year, Giffords and Latino Victory Project launched ¡YA BASTA! Latinos Rise Against Gun Violence and Hate—a tour with stops in El Paso, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio—to raise awareness in the Latinx community about the growing threats of gun violence and the white supremacist-based anti-Latinx movement. The tour included appearances by Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Congresswoman Veronica Escobar, Giffords Executive Director Peter Ambler, Latino Victory Project Executive Director Mayra Macías,Texas State Representative Cesar J. Blanco, and Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Executive Vice President of Field and Member Services Vanessa Gonzalez.