According to the San Antonio Express-News, an armed man in San Antonio has spent a year and a half sending racist, violent messages to the office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, totaling around 100 pages worth of threats to shoot undocumented immigrants — and no one did anything to stop him.
Ralph Pulliam’s messages are full of rage about “sanctuary cities” (even though San Antonio is not a sanctuary city, even by the broadest of definitions). In one email, he wrote, “We will open fire on these thugs … It will be a bloodbath.”
Though Paxton’s office reportedly did not communicate the threat to local officials, police did frequently visit his house on 911 tips. At no point was he arrested or stripped of his firearms, because local authorities — who weren’t aware of the threatening messages — did not have any evidence he had committed a crime. In the wake of the report, police are now trying to build a case against him.
“These messages are clearly threats of deadly force against San Antonians based solely on the color of their skin,” wrote state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer in a complaint to Paxton demanding a meeting. “It is deeply alarming to me that despite the large volume and explicit nature of the messages from Mr. Pulliam, the Office of Attorney General has taken so long to cooperate with local law enforcement.”
This news comes just weeks after the deadly mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso. The perpetrator published a manifesto raging against a “Hispanic invasion of Texas,” and drove halfway across the state to find a border town where he could shoot migrants.
Currently, Texas does not have a “red flag” law that allows people to petition for a temporary removal of firearms from a person they believe to be a risk. Paxton, an extreme right-wing official who is under indictment for securities fraud and is leading the multi-state lawsuit to strike down Obamacare in full, has made his stance against gun control clear, suggesting at a GOP convention that merely talking about gun laws means “more people are gonna die.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott briefly considered a red flag proposal from activists, but dropped the idea after opposition from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who controls the state Senate.