Since surviving a 1991 mass shooting at a Luby’s in Killeen, Suzanna Gratia Hupp has lobbied for looser gun control laws that she says could have allowed her to save the 23 victims, including both of her parents.
“I reached for the gun in my purse on the floor next to me,” Hupp told a congressional committee Wednesday during a hearing on the economic costs of gun violence. She recounted the moments after the killer, George Hennard, crashed his pickup into the restaurant where she was eating with her parents and opened fire. “But then I realized that a few months earlier I had made the stupidest decision of my life. My gun was 100 yards away, dutifully left in my car to obey the law because at that time in the state of Texas, carrying a handgun was illegal.”
Hupp’s campaign to ease restrictions on guns has spanned several decades. She won a seat in the Texas House, where she served for 10 years. On Wednesday, she told her story during a hearing of the Joint Economic Committee.
Hupp, a chiropractor, was invited by fellow Republicans, and she focused her testimony on what she called “the high cost of gun control.”
Few GOP members of the committee attended the hearing, which lasted nearly two hours. Democrats used the opportunity to make their case for strengthening background checks for gun purchases and passing “red flag” laws that let law enforcement seize firearms from people deemed dangerous. The Texans on the panel, both Republicans — Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Kenny Marchant of Coppell — did not attend.