Ray LaMontagne Cancels Austin Show Over Concealed Carry Firearm Law
Singer and songwriter Ray LaMontagne may lose a few fans for cancelling a Texas concert after the state changed is concealed gun carry laws, but he's likely gained the lasting respect of many more for not being afraid to take a stand.
Singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne has pulled out of an upcoming concert in Texas, citing the state's recently revised gun laws.
LaMontagne was due to perform at Bass Concert Hall at the University of Texas in Austin on Thursday but called the show off over the recently enacted Campus Carry law which went into effect on August 1st. The law allows licensed gun owners to carry concealed weapons into many concert venues located on public university campuses.
In a post on his Facebook Page on Tuesday, LaMontagne explained his reasoning, writing:
This Thursday's show at Bass Concert Hall in Austin, TX has been cancelled due to concerns over the state of Texas’ recently enacted campus carry law, which allows licensed holders to bring concealed handguns into many performance venues on public university campuses, including the Performing Arts Center at The University of Texas at Austin.
I consider myself to be a very open-minded human being, and I always try and see things from another’s point of view. I realize this is a controversial issue and there are strong feelings on both sides of it. But no matter how hard I try to understand the rationale for allowing guns on campus or more broadly, the ‘concealed carry’ law in general, I just cannot in any way support that ideology. There are a lot of things this country needs more of, but guns aren’t one of them.
On behalf of myself and the band, and everyone involved in the tour, I want to express our collective disappointment in the decision to allow guns on campus, and within the campus venue.
In a subsequent post, LaMontagne said that he had tried to reach an accommodation for the show, but said that over the weekend he received word from UT President Gregory Fenves that no exception to the campus carry rule would be given for the show.
In a statement to the Dallas Morning News, a rep for UT reaffirmed the school's support of the Campus Carry law.
"The university regrets that Ray LaMontagne made this decision but respects his right to do so," it said, per the Dallas Morning News. "Under Texas state law, licensed permit holders are allowed to bring concealed handguns into many performance venues on public university campuses, including the Performing Arts Center at The University of Texas at Austin."