AUSTIN (CBSNewsTexas.com) In a move that surprised gun reform activists, a Texas House committee on Monday voted to uphold House Bill 2744 and send it to the entire House.
If approved, it would raise the legal age to purchase an AR-style rifle to 21.
It happened after the strong demonstrations of the group Moms Demand Action who sang “Raise the age”.
They pushed for the commission to pass the bill.
Earlier Monday morning, Governor Greg Abbott held a press conference on border security.
CBS News Texas asked him what he says to Texans who are fed up with all the mass shootings and who believe the state isn’t doing enough to keep AR-style rifles away from the people who commit these shootings.
Abbott, who attended a community vigil on Sunday night, said: ‘I believe the public will be much better informed in the coming days about why and how this happened, which will inform us as Texas leaders about the next steps we need to take to seek to prevent crimes like this from happening in the future.”
At the Capitol, Democratic lawmakers spoke alongside families who lost their children in Uvalde last May, including Kim Rubio, whose daughter Lexi was among the victims.
Rubio said: “I’m so sorry I’m not strong today but maybe that’s what you need to see because at the end of each day I’m a mom who just wants my daughter back and a mom who doesn’t want another mom to know the my pain”.
At the same time, Republican State Representative Jeff Leach, whose district includes Allen, gave a speech on the floor. “I hope that, despite our disagreements, we will have them and welcome them. That we will respond with courage, speed, intelligence and that we will do everything possible to address this issue.”
A short time later, the House Community Safety committee announced it would be meeting.
They passed the bill, on what was the last day a committee could send legislation to the entire House.
“I truly believe that this is the voice of the people, the people have been heard and it has been the pressure that has been felt, from the moment I entered the Capitol today, to hear the chants of raising the age.”
Even if the entire House debates the bill, it faces an uphill climb given the Republican majority.
If it passes, the bill will go to the Senate, where it faces a steeper climb.