Bipartisan Texas mayors call for Gov. Abbott to hold special session on gun reform, mental health

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg is one of 13 mayors requesting the special session

(From left) San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Gov. Greg Abbott. (Getty Images/KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – Four weeks after a mass shooting at a Uvalde elementary school claimed 21 lives, more than a dozen bipartisan mayors across Texas are pushing for Gov. Greg Abbott to take action to prevent future mass shootings.

On Tuesday, 13 Texas mayors, including San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, requested that the governor call a special session for gun reform and mental health.

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Texas is not among the 19 states in the last five years to pass extreme risk protection legislation known as ‘red-flag laws.’

“We represent a continuum of political ideology and have come together because we know most Texans have a strong desire for common sense reform to protect our children. As mayors, we believe the legislature and executive leaders can come together to find the right solutions for Texas,” as said in a news release.

Specifically, the mayors want these measures included in the special session and in new legislation:

  • Require universal background checks for gun purchases.
  • Increase the age to purchase assault weapons in Texas to 21.
  • Pass Red Flag laws to identify threats before shootings.
  • Significant increase in mental health support funding.
  • Train and properly resource school safety officers.

With these reforms, Texas mayors said they believe these measures could’ve prevented the shooters in El Paso, and most recently, Uvalde, from obtaining their weapons.

“Families are asking us how many more shootings must happen before we act. The communities of Uvalde, El Paso, Santa Fe, and Sutherland Springs deserve better. In response to mass shootings—Florida passed red flag laws, and we can do the same here in Texas,” the news release said.

The 13 mayors who are pushing for the special session include Austin Mayor Steve Adler, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, Corpus Christi Mayor Paulette Guajardo, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, and others.

Residents across Texas are also pushing for gun reform. On June 11, “March for Our Lives” rallies happened in some of Texas’ largest cities, including San Antonio, pushing for stricter gun laws.

“Protecting the 2nd Amendment means passing responsible policies that a wide majority of law-abiding gun owners support,” the mayors stated. “We cannot stand idly by while more of our fellow Texans, often our children and law enforcement officers, are laid to rest as the result of another preventable shooting. Action is the only thing that will save more lives.”

To read the full letter from the Texas mayors, follow this link.

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