Sutherland Springs shooting sparks gun debate

Police tape still wrapped around the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.

Steven Willeford, Wednesday afternoon, was allowed to cross over the line. He is the man who briefly engaged in a gun battle with Devin Kelley after he emerged from the church Sunday.

Johnny Langendorff, who helped chase down Kelley was also allowed Into the secured area where Vice President Mike Pence along with Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Senator Ted Cruz received a briefing on the investigation.

Meanwhile, at the state capital, a group of gun regulation advocates were having their own news briefing. “May we pray the prayer of action and may our prayers Bear the fruits of safety and of healing and of life,” said Rabbi Steven Folberg.

Among those who believe its time to start the conversation about gun violence was State Rep Poncho Nevarez. “I can tell you those folks in Sutherland Springs or wracked with grief maybe they are not the ones who need to have this conversation a weekend in the members of this body should,” said Nevarez.

The Eagle Pass Democrat believes the controversial Open Carry Law is a good starting point.

According to Nevarez the law, technically would have protected Devin Kelley Sunday as he walked up to the small church in Sutherland Springs fully armed. “Imagine, this would have been illegal for the police to actually brace him and ask him what he was doing with that weapon, in other words they could not have stopped him and asked him, do you have a concealed handgun permit, or are you even someone who can legally buy a weapon? That would’ve been illegal they could not have done that, the first time they would’ve been able to ask him or do anything is when he leveled the weapon it and started firing it, imagine that,” said Nevarez.

But some gun advocates disagree saying changing the law would not have changed things in Sutherland Springs. “Law enforcement most certainly can stop and question anyone that they believe is suspicious, so any assertion otherwise is just plainly false, and quite frankly none of his positions would’ve solve the problem,” said C.J. Grisham with Open Carry Texas.

Nevarez says he is a gun owner and believes new Gun Regulations can be done without violating a persons Second Amendment right to bear arms. “I’m not saying that every person that’s running around with AR 15 is capable of doing this but let’s get that out of the equation to me that’s just common sense and it has nothing to do with this ... or violating the Second Amendment it has to do with common sense it would be to start there if we can’t start there what does it say about the 27 people who perished and their families,” said Nevarez.