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Texas Governor's Race Looms Over Abbott's Call for NY Gun Lovers

TexasAttorney General Greg Abbott is inviting New Yorkers who feel their state's new gun laws are too restrictive to migrate to Texas. 

Abbott has launched a new Google ad campaign encouraging New Yorkers to move to Texas. It says gun-loving Yanks "will have the right to bear arms" and, due to Texas’ low taxes, will also have "more money to buy ammo."

The campaign started yesterday with ads linked to a Facebook page and on the Attorney General's Twitter account. Funded out of Abbott's $18 million war chest, the campaign features queries like:

"Are you a lawful New York gun owner seeking lower taxes? Is Gov. (Andrew) Cuomo looking to take your guns? Sick of the media outing law-abiding gun owners?” 

A second ad reads, 

“Wanted: Law abiding New York gun owns looking for lower taxes and greater opportunity."

The ads are running on several media websites in Manhattan and Albany.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomosigned a new law this week that expands the ban on assault weapons in that state. President Barack Obama also proposed a suite of new gun regulations yesterday, in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

But on a Facebook pagehosted by his campaign, the Texas AG proclaims “you'll fit right in here in Texas,” and “Keep your guns, come to TX.” Those ads link to a Facebook petition page that reflects Abbott's stance against gun regulation.

Abbott, who has served as AG since 2002, is widely rumored to be considering a run for governor. Gov. Rick Perry, who’s occupied Texas’ highest office since 2000, has not said whether he will run for re-election. Abbott's publicity-generating gun campaign could represent an attempt to out-Perry Perry on the gun issue.

As attorney general, Abbott has also brought several high-profile lawsuits on conservative topics like the Affordable Care Act and a case involving East Texas cheerleaders promoting biblical verses.

Yesterday, the governor responded to Obama’s gun regulations with a statement reading "The sad young man who did that in Newtown was clearly haunted by demons and no gun law could have saved the children in Sandy Hook Elementary from his terror.”

Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
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