The mayors, both conservatives and liberals, called for legislation on requiring universal background checks, increasing the age to purchase “assault weapons” to 21, passing red flag laws, increasing mental health funding, and properly training school safety officers.
“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,” the mayors of Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, Plano, Houston, and other big cities in Texas wrote.
“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.”
Savador Ramos, the 18-year-old gunman who officials say murdered 19 children and two adults last month in Uvalde, legally purchased two AR-15 style rifles shortly after his 18th birthday.
The mother of the suspected El Paso shooter, who murdered 22 people at a Walmart in 2019, said she had called police with concerns about her son owning a rifle before the shooting.
“These reforms, supported by most Texans, would have prevented the shooters in El Paso and Uvalde from obtaining their weapons,” the mayors wrote.
A group of Democratic state senators have also urged Abbott to call a special legislative session.
The next regular session is scheduled for January 2023.