During a press conference, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, District Attorney Joe Gonzales and Sheriff Javier Salazar called on Abbott to create a special session to pass gun reforms. That demand comes more than a week after a gunman entered a Uvalde elementary school and slaughtered 19 children and two teachers.
“Over the last two decades, school children have died from guns more than on-duty police officers and active military, combined,” Wolff said. “When is enough enough? A special session needs to be called now. We don’t need a study, we’ve been through this for years, and we know what needs to happen.”
Gonzales said his office will begin destroying firearms used in crimes that end in convictions. What's more, he'll prioritize charges against anyone possessing a switch that can turn a firearm into a fully automatic weapon, whether or not the device is installed.
Members of Bexar County Commissioners Court also said they will introduce proposals next week to purchase and distribute $100,000 in firearms locks, create a $1 million gun-violence awareness campaign and ban gun shows at county facilities such as Freeman Coliseum and the AT&T Center.
County leaders called the press conference two days after Abbott announced he would convene "special committees" of the GOP-controlled Texas Legislature to discuss ways to prevent future mass shootings like the Uvalde tragedy. Abbott, a Republican, made no specific mention of new laws dealing with firearms access.
Even though Texas has endured at least six mass shootings since Abbott was elected governor, he signed multiple bills during the past two legislative sessions to loosen gun restrictions. Last year's permitless carry law was opposed by most Texans and numerous law enforcement groups.
During Friday's press conference, Wolff called on the Texas Legislature to immediately pass laws that:
- Raise the age for purchasing shoulder arms from 18 to 21
- Implement a red-flag system to take guns away from people shown to be a high risk
- Require background checks on all gun purchases
- Require anyone who publicly carries a firearm to be licensed and trained
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