Lawmakers demand more than press conferences from Texas governor after Uvalde shooting

“If anyone thinks that we should focus on background checks instead of mental health, they’re mistaken,” the governor said.

UVALDE, Texas – Gov. Greg Abbott announced additional mental health resources were being made available to Uvalde residents and victims of the Robb Elementary school shooting on Friday, saying the focus should be on addressing this shortcoming in the community.

The governor blamed the Uvalde mass shooting on the gunman’s mental health.

“If anyone thinks that we should focus on background checks instead of mental health, they’re mistaken,” he said.

State Sen. Roland Gutierrez said he and his Democratic colleagues are asking that the governor call a special session this summer to address firearm laws that might prevent another future mass shooting.

“I’m asking for a special session on this. No way an 18-year-old should have access to this weaponry. If you have to be 21 to buy a gun, you should be 21 to buy a rifle like this,” Gutierrez said.

Texas law allows 18-year-olds to purchase AR-type firearms.

Following the 2018 and 2019 mass shootings at a school and retail store in Texas, the governor called for a roundtable discussion on recommendations. Some included the “hardening” of school security, but none addressed firearm restrictions.

“This summer to do one thing, do two things, three things that make sense, and maybe we diminish another event,” Gutierrez said.

Second Amendment supporters say there are already enough gun laws in the books, and they lack enforcement.

“No matter how many laws you pass, bad people are going to find a way to do their evil deeds, and this was evil incarnate,” said Richard Briscoe with Open Carry Texas.

But other NRA members closer to the shooting scene in Uvalde say maybe it is time to consider raising the age limit to purchase assault rifles to 21-year-olds.

About the Authors

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.

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