Matthew McConaughey appeared at a White House briefing on Tuesday to make a plea for urgent gun reform in the United States.
Last month, an 18-year-old fatally shot 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas - the Oscar-winning actor's hometown.
At the briefing, McConaughey called for “responsible” gun ownership laws to be introduced as soon as possible.
“So, we know what’s on the table. We need to invest in mental healthcare. We need safer schools. We need to restrain sensationalised media coverage. We need to restore our family values. We need to restore our American values. And we need responsible gun ownership — responsible gun ownership,” he stated. “We need background checks. We need to raise the minimum age to purchase an AR-15 rifle to 21. We need a waiting period for those rifles. We need red-flag laws and consequences for those who abuse them.”
Despite perceptions that the prospect of gun reform is divisive, McConaughey insisted gun owners agree that certain measures should be implemented.
“Responsible gun owners are fed up with the Second Amendment being abused and hijacked by deranged individuals. These regulations are not a step back, they are a step forward for a civil society and the Second Amendment,” the 52-year-old argued, adding: “I promise you, America, you and me, we are not as divided as we are being told we are.”
During his speech, McConaughey also held up artwork created by Alithia Ramirez, a 10-year-old victim of the shooting, as well as the green Converse sneakers used to identify nine-year-old Maite Rodriguez.
The star and his wife Camila Alves also met President Joe Biden during their White House trip.