AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texans should find out soon what Governor Greg Abbott wants to do to protect them from gun violence.
He posted on Twitter Wednesday that he will announce “executive action” this week and “legislative considerations” next week.
Earlier Wednesday, the House Democratic Caucus held a news conference to push for the governor to call a special session to discuss:
- Enacting extreme risk protective order laws and closing existing loopholes in current protective order laws
- Closing the background check loopholes
- Banning the sale of high-capacity magazines
- Limiting the open carry of certain semi-automatic long guns
- Requiring stolen guns be reported to law enforcement
Governor Abbott did not provide specific details on what he’ll announce, but said their suggestions are on the table for discussion.
Concerns among Second amendment supporters
Without knowing exactly what the governor is working on, Michael Cargill, Owner of Central Texas Gun Works, said: “I’m actually very concerned. We actually have some good laws that are actually working for us right now.”
Cargill said his store has been very busy the last couple of days because people are concerned about their own safety. “They want to take a class. They want to buy a gun,” he said.
Cargill believes mandating background checks for private gun sales will do more harm than good.
“There’s no way they can enforce private sales, and the only way they’re going to do that is some type of registration, and with registration, you’re just not going to enforce it at all. You’re just going to create a black market system,” he said.
He added, “Red Flag” laws work only work if someone actually reports a person they’re concerned about. He said in previous mass shootings, there were signs, but early intervention either didn’t happen or didn’t work.
“One in Odessa, he called 911 several times. One in Ohio, someone knew something was wrong with him. One in El Paso, his parents knew something was wrong with him,” he said. “Every level there’s been something wrong, and we need parents and other people to get involved and make sure that we can stop these people.”
Support for calling a special session
Ed Scruggs with Texas Gun Sense said he agrees with Democrats who are pushing for an emergency special session. “The need is there. People in the state are demanding action. The governor simply has to say the word,” he said.
Scruggs told KXAN closing background check loopholes is a must.
“The massive holes in our background check system allowed the Odessa shooter to fail a background and then look around to find the private sale,” he said. “It’s not going to stop shootings. It’s not going to stop killings, but it’ll make it more difficult. The more difficult it is the greater the chances we can intervene and stop it before it happens.”
The Texas Legislature meets every other year. The most recent session wrapped up in May. Scruggs said, lawmakers shouldn’t wait until 2021 to discuss possible changes.
“Politics always gets in the way, and some people are always thinking about the political impact, or how does this impact me in the next election, etc., and we can’t do that,” he said. “Now is the time to act. The situation calls for it.”