UVALDE, Texas (KXAN) — Families of victims of the Uvalde school shooting, as well as survivors, called on Texas lawmakers to pass more gun legislation months after the tragedy.

In late May, a gunman shot and killed two teachers and 19 children at Robb Elementary School. Their loved ones held a press conference Wednesday alongside several Democratic legislators and candidates to elevate their concerns.

The Uvalde families who spoke Wednesday suggested lawmakers should raise the minimum age to purchase firearms like the AR-15 the gunman used at Robb Elementary School to 21 years old in Texas.

Veronica Mata, whose 10-year-old daughter Tess died in the shooting, told reporters Wednesday she met with Gov. Greg Abbott personally and asked him to call a special legislative session to change the minimum age to buy a rifle, similar to what Florida did in 2018 after the deadly school shooting in Parkland. She claimed Abbott told her the state could not do that, adding that he reportedly said he’d like to focus more on mental health solutions instead.

“As a mother being told this is not possible, it is telling me that the people in charge don’t seem to care about our children dying,” Mata said. “It took Florida two weeks from the day of their shooting to move the age up, yet our great state of Texas needs grieving families to beg and plead to do this to prevent another tragedy.”

During last week’s gubernatorial debate, Gov. Abbott argued a law raising the gun purchase age for weapons like the AR-15 would potentially be unconstitutional and face legal challenges.

“We want to end school shootings, but we cannot do that by making false promises,” Abbott said at the debate. “It’s a false promise to suggest that we can pass a law that will be upheld by the Constitution to raise the age, and here’s why: the most recent federal court of appeals decision on this particular issue said that it was unconstitutional for a state to raise the age from 18 to 21 for a person to buy an AR-15. So any attempt to try to raise the age is going to be met with it being overturned. We need to get to the bottom of what is really ailing our communities, and that is the mental health that is leading people to engage in school shootings. Texas is already addressing that.”

Abbott also discussed how he already tasked two special legislative committees to look into the Uvalde shooting and to bring forward policy suggestions for the upcoming legislative session, which begins in January. He said at Friday’s debate he’d also make school safety an emergency item for lawmakers to address when they reconvene next year.

Renae Eze, the governor’s press secretary, said in a statement Wednesday, “Governor Abbott and First Lady Abbott join all Texans in mourning every single innocent life lost that tragic day, and we pray for the families who are suffering from the loss of a loved one. Governor Abbott visited Uvalde over several weeks to meet individually with over 30 victims’ families to provide direct assistance, and every month since the tragedy to ensure they are receiving all the resources and support needed to heal.”

Some of the shooting victims’ families also pushed Wednesday for the state to pass red flag laws and increased background checks for gun purchases. Many of them also called on Texans to vote for Democratic candidates during the upcoming election. They argued these candidates would more likely pursue the reforms that they said are needed after the shooting.

“Raising the age limit to purchase an assault weapon is what needs to be immediately. Don’t wait until it happens again. Someone needs to stand up and take charge,” Berlinda Arreola, the step-grandmother of victim Amerie Jo Garza, said. “Someone needs to be that one that isn’t afraid to make a change. You may be surprised of the followers that you will have. Be the one who makes that history and makes that change.”

Abbott received a question during the governor’s debate about whether he changed his opposition to implementing a red flag law in Texas. He listed several changes he signed into law last year, including making it a felony to lie on a background check and approving the expansion of background checks to include juvenile records.

“I’m still against red flag laws for the reason that it would deny a lawful Texas gun owner their constitutional right to due process,” the governor said Friday.

Eze added in a statement, “This year, federal courts have made clear that the Second Amendment prohibits raising the age to buy a semiautomatic rifle from 18 to 21…Governor Abbott continues to work on solutions focused on the root of the problem: mental health.”