AUSTIN (Nexstar) — On Saturday, the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus sent a letter to Governor Greg Abbott, urging him to call a special session to address gun violence following the deadly mass shooting in Uvalde.

The letter reads, in part:

“We demand that this special session include passage of legislation that would:

  • Raise the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21;
  • Require universal background checks for all firearm sales;
  • Implement “red flag” laws to allow the temporary removal of firearms from those who are an imminent danger to themselves or others;
  • Require a “cooling off” period for the purchase of a firearm; and
  • Regulate civilian ownership of high-capacity magazines.

In Sutherland Springs, 26 people died. At Santa Fe High School, 10 people died. In El Paso, 23 people died at a Walmart. Seven people died in Midland-Odessa. After each of these mass killings, you have held press conferences and roundtables promising things would change. After the slaughter of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, those broken promises have never rung more hollow. The time to take real action is now.”

This letter followed State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat representing Uvalde, interrupting Governor Abbott’s news conference Friday, where he told the Governor the caucus would be sending the letter.

“I’m asking you now to bring us back,” Sen. Gutierrez stated Friday.

Saturday, he doubled down on those calls in an interview with KXAN News.

“I want to have a special session on this issue. Do something, do anything. Raise the age limit,” he said.

“You have to be 21 to get a handgun. But you can get an AR 15 at 18? That makes zero sense. Isn’t it enough of a red flag where a young man buys 1800 rounds of ammunition and two AR fifteens in the span of 48 hours? I mean, shouldn’t have someone at that store said instead of swallowing that money?” Gutierrez said Saturday.

When asked if the Governor would consider calling a special session Friday, he responded that all options are on the table, although no clear timeline was given. If a special session is not called, lawmakers will not meet at the Capitol again until the 88th Regular Legislative Session in Jan. 2023.

“Do we expect laws to come out of this devastating crime? The answer is absolutely yes. And there will be laws in multiple different subject areas. For example, I do fully expect to have every law that we pass in the aftermath of the Santa Fe shooting to be completely revisited,” Abbott said Friday.

He vowed changes to our health care system.

“My hope is laws passed that I will sign addressing health care in this state, there is an array of health care issues that we face as a state in general, but there are an array of health care issues that relate to those who commit gun crimes,” Abbott continued.

Gutierrez said that’s not enough, though.

“Yeah, we have a mental health problem in this country. And in this state, go fund it properly. Sure. But that isn’t it. There’s mental health problems around the world, and only in the United States do these massacres happen,” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez said he spoke to a constituent Saturday morning who lost his daughter in the massacre.

“He says, ‘I don’t want my daughter’s death to have been in vain. I want to see policy changes.’ I promised him that I would try,” Gutierrez stated.

State Rep. Jeff Leach (R – Plano), also called for a special session on Twitter this week.

“Texas Lawmakers have work to do. Conversations to engage in. Deliberations & debates to have. Important decisions to make. And the best way to do our jobs openly, publicly & transparently is in a #txlege special session. Texans expect & deserve this & the time demands it,” Leach said in a tweet.

The governor did not call a special session after the mass shootings in El Paso and Midland-Odessa in 2019, although he did host a roundtable discussion to explore possible solutions.

After the Santa Fe school shooting in 2018, several red flag laws were presented during the 86th Regular Legislative Session in 2019, but none made it to the governor’s desk.

“It never got out of committee because Republicans wouldn’t vote for it. And so, this is just—‘Enough is enough.’ I mean, you were not asking for the moon in the stars. You’re asking for common-sense gun solutions,” Gutierrez said, who was a House representative at the time.