Two years ago, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick wanted it to be known that he was prepared to buck his party on one of its sacred issues: guns.
In September 2019, he gave an interview to the Dallas Morning News in which he said was "willing to take an arrow" and go against the National Rifle Association by pushing for Texas to extend background checks to gun sales between strangers.
But Patrick's outspoken advocacy did not last long, and the next legislative session ended last month without any progress on the cause.
For the past year, Patrick has refused to answer questions about whether he still supports the stronger background checks. On Thursday, at a San Antonio news conference where Gov. Greg Abbott signed a series of bills from the session expanding gun rights, Patrick was asked directly, but he would not state his position.