AUSTIN (KXAN) – Matthew McConaughey has penned a new op-ed for Esquire magazine, detailing his return to his Texas hometown of Uvalde after the shooting at Robb Elementary, and sharing his thoughts on gun reform.

In the piece, published this week, McConaughey recounted meeting with Republican congressman Tony Gonzales in the wake of the shooting, and visiting the parents of the victims — in their own homes — with wife Camila Alves.

The experience, he said, forced him to examine his own relationship with guns, which began when his father taught him to give “full respect” to firearms at the age of 9.

McConaughey said he supported the Second Amendment, but ultimately believed in limitations and mandatory safety courses.

“I believe all firearm purchases should be subject to an extensive background check, and unless you’re in the military, you should be twenty-one to purchase an assault rifle,” McConaughey wrote in Esquire. “I believe that extreme risk protection orders, or ‘red-flag laws,’ that respect due process should be the law of the land and that firearm-safety courses should be mandatory.”

Rights, including the Second Amendment, “come with obligations,” he said.

“To do nothing is more than irresponsible; it’s un-American. Our firearm policy is failing us, and we are failing it,” McConaughey said.

In the essay, McConaughey detailed his trip to Washington D.C. in June when he advocated for gun violence reform, and after meeting with politicians from both sides of the aisle. McConaughey had previously said in an Instagram story he attended 30 bi-partisan meetings during that trip.

Later that month, lawmakers approved the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which was signed into law by President Joe Biden. The act was the first federal gun reform in 28 years.

“Does the bill solve everything? Hell no,” McConaughey wrote. “No law will heal Uvalde, or any community that suffered a similar tragedy. Does it move us in the right direction? Yes.”

McConaughey had previously expressed his interest in running for governor of Texas, but said in Nov. 2021 that he wasn’t looking to pursue office “at the moment.”

More recently, the actor spoke at Dreamforce, an annual tech conference by Salesforce, and said he’d be “arrogant not to” consider a run for president sometime in the future, SFGate reported in September. If that were to happen, he said, it would be because he was “living right” and got “pulled into it.”