'I'm not trying to take anybody's guns away': Rep. calls for special session to address gun violence

By Japhanie Gray - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - After Texas Gov. Greg Abbott released in a statement that he formed a Domestic Terrorism Task Force in the wake of the El Paso shooting, State Rep. Roland Gutierrez expressed his opposition for this method of combating gun violence.

After Santa Fe, the governor said we're going to have roundtable discussions,” Gutierrez said. “Did we implement anything? No, we created laws that gave more access to guns. I'm not trying to take away anybody's guns. You know, we've been there, and we've done that. We've heard from roundtables; we've heard from experts. And apparently no one on that side of the aisle is listening. It's time that we take their recommendations and do some things.”

The new task force will work to combat hateful acts and extremism with the help of the Texas Department of Public Safety. It would also include a series of roundtable discussions made up of experts from all backgrounds.

“I'll wait for his roundtable. That's fine,” Gutierrez said. “But we need to get to work. Roundtable does nothing without legislation.”

On Wednesday, Gutierrez released a proposal that would crack down on gun violence called the Secure Access Firearm Enforcement Act, or SAFE Act.

The proposal includes the following:

  • $10 million gun buyback program

  • $10 million gun lock giveaway

  • Establish a task force to identify and eliminate white supremacist activity and networks

  • Additional funding and resources for mental health care

  • Increase age limit to 25 to purchase AR-type rifles

  • Limit clip capacity to 10 bullets

  • Make it illegal to possess or distribute bump stocks that turn semi-automatic arms into fully automatic guns

  • Mandatory background checks for private gun sales

  • Establish extreme risk protective orders to keep firearms away from dangerous individuals

“I'm trying to create legislation that limits the type of rounds or the capacity of the magazines or the clips,” Gutierrez said. “There are 10 states that have legislation on that. We should do it now. It makes sense. If you're a hunter and you can't shoot that animal where the target is or at target practice with three rounds, then you need to take up fishing.”

He said another form of gun issues he would like to address is the number of accidental shootings.

“How many children in San Antonio alone have died by accident? It's a shame,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez is joined by nearly 20 state legislators who are calling for Abbott to hold a special session to combat gun violence.

“The only way we could really do something is get us back into the capital,” Gutierrez said. “Let's get to work and let's pass common-sense gun legislation. I'm not trying to take anybody's guns away. I'm just trying to save a life.”

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