DALLAS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – The nation’s oldest Latino civil rights organization and some Democratic state lawmakers in Dallas want Governor Greg Abbott to call a special session on gun violence following the deadly rampage in El Paso.
LULAC’s call for an emergency special session on gun violence comes a couple of days after Governor Abbott announced he will hold roundtable discussions later this month in Austin and El Paso.
At a news conference in Dallas, LULAC national president Domingo Garcia said the roundtables aren’t good enough. Aside from the special session, Garcia said LULAC wants the state to ban A-R 15 and A-K 47 rifles or at least a number of requirements people must meet before buying one.
“This is an emergency and we’re asking our state leadership starting with governor abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) to take action,” said Garcia.
Garcia also wants the state to develop a task force aimed at rooting out white nationalists. He stood with a representative from Moms Demand Action and several Democratic state lawmakers, including Senator Royce West who’s among the Democrats running for U.S. Senate.
Governor Abbott has said a panel of experts will help guide him on steps he can take on his own and what lawmakers can do in the future to prevent mass shootings. West said a special session should be called after the governor’s roundtable discussions.
“Let’s make certain the various perspectives that need to be at the table are there and once we have that roundtable discussion, it’s time for a special session. I can’t think of an emergency that’s more important that this emergency,” said Senator West.
In a statement, Republican state representative Matt Shaheen of Plano said, “We must craft a plan of action that will help prevent future acts of terrorism, before we can determine whether a special session would reduce mass murders.”
Furthermore, Shaheen said he looks forward to working with the governor and lawmakers on real, fact-based solutions.
The governor’s office did not respond to CBS 11 News about today’s call for a special session.