Gov. Abbott releases Texas Safety Action report following recent mass shootings in Texas

Texas

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Gov. Greg Abbott unveiled his Texas Safety Action Report Thursday, which provides details on the executive orders he issued last week. The purpose of Abbott’s executive orders were to improve public safety coordination aimed at preventing mass shootings.

“We must act with resolve in response to the despicable acts of violence we have witnessed in Texas,” said Governor Abbott. “Solving the problems that have led to these horrific events will take more than governmental action. The complete solution will require more than what is outlined in this paper. It will require parents, families, churches, law enforcement, community groups, schools, and others working together to fortify the social fabric of our society. Texans are at our best when we are tested. Together, we will transcend this test, and forge an even better future for our state.”

The announcement of the executive orders followed several meetings of Abbott’s Texas Safety Commission. The commission consisted of community leaders, law enforcement officials, federal officials, business representatives, faith leaders, tech experts, counselors, advocates, lawmakers and survivors of mass shootings. Their goal was to study the outbreak of mass shootings in Texas and propose strategies to avoid future tragedies.

A summary of the report can be found below, featuring some of the more important ideas and actions taken from the executive orders:

Additional Executive Actions

  • Strengthen Domestic Violence High-Risk Teams across the state.
  • Expand law enforcement training offered through the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center at Texas State University, and develop a public awareness campaign for the “Avoid, Deny Defend” program.
  • Refresh training for all licensed peace officers on the procedures and criteria for “emergency detention”.
  • Educate physicians and behavioral health professionals about the law concerning disclosure of confidential information to law enforcement.
  • DPS should coordinate with fusion centers across the state to promote continuous improvement and accountability.
  • Accelerate the development and implementation of the DPS safe firearm storage campaign, supported by the recent $1 million appropriations.

Firearm Safety

  • The Legislature should consider expediting the reporting of criminal convictions to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
  • The Legislature should consider prohibiting straw purchases of firearms under state law. A primary goal is to keep guns out of the hands of criminals while protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.
  • The Legislature should consider laws that crack down on criminals who try to illegally buy or possess guns.
  • The Legislature should consider requiring courts to inform convicted criminals, both orally and in writing, that they may no longer possess firearms.
  • The Legislature should consider stiffer consequences for criminals convicted of violent offenses.
  • The Legislature could consider requiring that any stolen firearms be reported to the county sheriff within 10 days of when the owner becomes aware of the theft.
  • The Legislature should consider ways to make it easy, affordable, and beneficial for a private seller of firearms to voluntarily use background checks when selling firearms to strangers.
  • The Legislature should consider prohibiting juvenile offenders convicted of certain violent crimes from legally purchasing firearms.
  • The Legislature should spur cooperation to encourage social media companies to report suspicious activity to law enforcement.
  • The Legislature should consider implementing and funding a Texas program, similar to federal initiatives, which uses a multi-pronged strategy of policing and prosecution, agency integration, and identification of violent crime hot spots. The focus would be on criminals with guns, not law-abiding Texans.
  • The Legislature should consider a law that works in conjunction with the proposed federal “Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act” of 2019.

Additional Strategies

  • The Legislature should work with the TEA to develop strategies to improve parental engagement in schools.
  • When updating the Health TEKS, the State Board of Education (SBOE) should emphasize student mental health issues, including depression, social media immersion, and drug abuse.
  • The Legislature should consider amending state law to ensure schools are notified when former students are arrested.

The full Texas Safety Action Report can be viewed here.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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