on January 26, 2023
With Uvalde survivors gathered in the background, State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, D-San Antonio, TX, addressed gun violence and proposed four new gun control measures at a press conference on Tuesday.
“We’re gonna talk about gun safety solutions,” Gutierrez said after introducing the survivors of the Robb Elementary School attack. “Real commonsense stuff.”
If these bills pass:
- School shooting victims and their families will have the ability to sue Texas state agencies and law enforcement officials.
- The state will also be required to create a permanent compensation fund for victims of school shootings.
- The fund will be paid by imposing a tax on gun sales.
- Last, legislators will repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which is a federal law that protects gun sellers and manufacturers from civil action.
Gutierrez pointed to Uvalde and Santa Fe as reasons for Texas democrats to work together and craft this legislation.
“So much [of] what happened on May 24th was a tragedy that we have never seen before in the state of Texas,” Gutierrez said.
The state senator spoke at the press conference about how Texas Democrats will work to carve out “a series of pieces of legislation,” to address justice, appropriations, emergency management, and gun safety solutions.
According to an interview with ABC News, Gutierrez says the bills have not received any Republican co-sponsors but remains confident that they will all have companion bills eventually.
“We can sue big tobacco when they market towards kids, but we can’t sue big guns. It’s ludicrous,” Gutierrez said. “How that ever got passed is beyond me and I think my Republican colleagues can get behind me on that one.”
State Sen. Sarah Eckhardt, D-Austin, spoke briefly at the press conference as well. According to her speech, 70-90% of the illegal guns in Mexico are sourced in the United States with Texas accounting for 40% overall.
The mother of a Uvalde shooting victim, Felicia Martinez, had a chance to speak about her family’s grief and thinks a 21-year-old age limit could have prevented the massacre.
“An 18-year-old should not be allowed to purchase this kind of weapon,” Felicia Martinez, mother of victim Xavier Lopez, said on Tuesday. “These laws need to be changed and they need to be changed today, not tomorrow.”
Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan told reporters last week that he is willing to let a debate on the issue play out on the House floor, but he doesn’t think it has the votes to pass.
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