Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is facing criticism after he joked Friday about shooting journalists.
Abbott made the comment during a visit to an indoor gun range in Austin, Texas, on Friday. The governor was at the shooting range to sign a bill that lowers the cost of a license to carry a handgun.
Abbott tested his own shooting skills and afterward, showed those in attendance his target, where three rounds went through the bull's eye.
A reporter for the Texas Tribune tweeted a photo of Abbott, who said, "I'm gonna carry this around in case I see any reporters."
The comment, though, earned the governor sharp criticism.
"This joke was dangerous and out of line. Because it's never a joke to some," the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said in a statement Friday, according to Reuters. "Words matter. In a state and country where dangerous people can still so easily buy guys without a background check, leaders of every political stripe should be careful not to green light violence on their behalf."
Reporters Without Borders, based in Paris, also condemned Abbott's remark and, citing Montana Republican candidate Greg Gianforte's assault on a reporter for the Guardian, said it was "unacceptable."
"TX @GovAbbott's joke about using guns on journos completely unacceptable esp after @gianforte assault on @Bencjacobs," the group said on its Twitter account.
"Politicians must condemn this dangerous rhetoric against reporters as it can quickly escalate to physical violence like we saw in Montana," Reporters Without Borders said in a second tweet.