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Gun Rights Group Demands Apology, Retraction from Texas House Speaker over Smear Tactics

By: Teresa Mull

A gun rights group is not letting a RINO get away with smear and intimidation tactics.

Gunpowder Magazine reported exclusively earlier this month that Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, Dennis Bonnen (R-25), evidently upset over Chris McNutt’s efforts to expose Bonnen’s plan to kill Constitutional Carry, physically confronted the gun rights activist at the Republican Party of Texas Annual Spring Dinner.

McNutt, who serves as the South Central Regional Director of the National Association for Gun Rights (NAGR) and as the Executive Director for Texas Gun Rights (TXGR), joined forces with NAGR in demanding an apology from Bonnen at a press conference held in Austin yesterday. McNutt, NAGR President Dudley Brown, and NAGR Attorney Jesse Binnall hosted the press conference. Video of the event can be viewed here.

“Speaker Bonnen recently embarked on a media campaign aimed at diverting attention away from his own schemes to quietly kill HB 357, the Constitutional Carry Bill,” TXGR reported in a press release. “In doing so, Bonnen has clearly and deliberately made false statements against Mr. McNutt.”

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Brown, McNutt, and Binnall at the press conference in Austin.

McNutt told Gunpowder Magazine earlier this month that Bonnen had slapped his hand on his back and yelled at him at the Republican Party of Texas dinner.

“Bonnen then stormed out of the room,” McNutt said. “Multiple witnesses saw him put his hand on me and try to give me a public dressing down. It was pretty crazy.”

According to TXGR, Bonnen has made it his mission to spread several lies about McNutt, specifically:

Lie #1: That Mr. McNutt threatened the Speaker’s family while canvassing the Speaker’s neighborhood, when in fact he never saw nor spoke to any family member. Recently released Department of Public Safety body cam footage and statements confirm McNutt’s account and that video can be seen here.

According to a written report of the encounter, DPS Trooper James Johnson stated, “McNutt did not make any threatening statements towards Representative Bonnen’s people...I did not observe McNutt wearing any type of firearm...After a brief conversation, McNutt drove out of the neighborhood without incident.”

Lie #2: That Mr. McNutt “brandished” a firearm in the presence of legislative staff when in fact McNutt was unarmed. He did not even travel with a firearm, as those who interacted with Mr. McNutt can confirm.

Lie #3: That Mr. McNutt “set up” a confrontation at a recent Texas Republican Party fundraiser. According to Darlene Pendery, a top donor to the Republican Party of Texas, and one of many witnesses to the encounter, Speaker Bonnen was the instigator and his abrasive conduct towards McNutt made the event a horrible evening.

“The smear and intimidation tactics used by Speaker Dennis Bonnen are alarmingly similar to the unethical, cutthroat methods we saw used by the Left to vilify Brett Kavanaugh during the tortuous circus of hearings,” Pendery said following the press conference.

“Taken as a whole, these are slanderous actions and no politician is immune from the rules of good conduct and integrity,” said Brown.

“We are currently investigating whether Bonnen’s intimidation tactics involved the misappropriation of state resources,” stated Binnall.

“If the Speaker of the Texas House -- the third most powerful politician in the state -- intentionally abused public resources to perpetuate falsehoods against a political opponent, that would be an affront to the free-speech rights of all Texans, and is conduct unbecoming of a legislator. We’re looking into all options available to hold Speaker Bonnen accountable for his actions. At the very least, he should apologize.”

For more on this story, read GPM’s original report here.

Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at teresa@gunpowdermagazine.com.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Gunpowder Magazine.