HOUSTON (CBSDFW.COM) — Governor Greg Abbott unveiled his Texas Safety Action Report Thursday, which included nearly a dozen suggestions for state lawmakers to act on to help prevent other deadly mass shootings like those in El Paso and Odessa.
However, he did not call an emergency special session as many Democrats have urged him to do.
In a statement, the governor said, “We must act with resolve in response to the despicable acts of violence we have witnessed in Texas.”
But he also said Texans can’t rely on the state alone.
“It will require parents, families, churches, law enforcement, community groups, schools and others working together to fortify the social fabric of our society,” Abbott said.
Among the other ideas he wants the legislature to consider: prohibiting straw gun purchases to catch criminals, not law abiding citizens and cracking down on criminals who try to illegally obtain guns.
He also wants lawmakers to consider prohibiting juveniles who are convicted of certain violent crimes from legally purchasing guns and making it easy for private gun sellers to voluntarily use background checks.
The governor says lawmakers should also consider a bill that would speed-up the reporting of criminal convictions to Texas DPS to make sure they get into the background check system.
Though, he does not mention red flag laws, which would give law enforcement the ability to take someone’s guns away on an emergency basis.
The suggestions follow two meetings of his safety commission with lawmakers, law enforcement officials, mental health and tech experts.
Republicans say they don’t want to pass anything that would violate the Constitution and anyone’s 2nd Amendment rights, but Democrats say the state needs to do more to save lives.
Executive Director of the Texas Democratic Party Manny Garcia says, “People have been killed. People have been slaughtered in Texas. We need to stop that, and half measures aren’t going to cut it. We need to get it done. Texans are demanding these solutions.”
State Representative Matt Krause says in no way does he view these as half measures.
“I view these as good recommendations that could keep Texan safer. And at the end of the day, I think that’s what we’re all looking to do,” Krause said.
Garcia says Democrats filed four dozen bills during the last legislature, and all but one didn’t pass.
While they favor a special session, various Republicans have cautioned against that, saying without making sure there are the required votes to pass bills, it would be a waste of time.
They favor the House and Senate select committees, named by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, to develop legislation.