SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff on Saturday formally sent a letter to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, requesting the need for a special session on gun violence following the mass shooting in Uvalde that killed 19 students and two teachers.
In the letter, Wolff says a special session needs to be called given the fact we are just three months away from the fall school semester. He said the Texas legislature needs to take action on five steps to help prevent future gun violence. He listed the following in his letter:
- Raise the age from 18 to 21 to buy semi-automatic weapons.
- Pass a Red Flag Law so that a judge can issue an order allowing for the temporary seizure of firearms belonging to an individual who is a credible danger to themselves or others.
- Require a background check on all gun sales.
- Require training in order to obtain a license to carry firearms.
- Allocate State funding for school security upgrades and trauma emergency planning.
On Friday, Wolff joined District Attorney Joe Gonzales, Sheriff Javier Salazar and county commissioners in a press conference to request the measures, aimed to reduce both gun violence and mass shootings.
The letter on Saturday emphasized that gun violence continues to escalate, whether its willful, malicious or accidental and mentioned that over the last two decades, more school children have died from guns than on-duty police officers and active-duty military combined.
Along with the judge, during Friday’s announcement Bexar County Commissioners Rebeca Clay-Flores, Precinct 1, and Justin Rodriguez, Precinct 2, both said they would push several measures through commissioners court next week, including the following:
- Continue the policy of disallowing gun shows on county property, including Freeman Coliseum & AT&T Center.
- $100k funding for gun locks and distribution centers.
- $1 million for education and outreach program on gun safety.
- Fund $14 million for mental health, including training for trauma and de-escalation, expansion of acuity and urgent beds and prevention pre-crisis training..
“The governor and the legislature must step up now and address gun violence. The governor’s answer to form a committee and wait till the legislature meets in January of next year is not a good answer. A special session needs to be called now,” Wolff said Friday.