AUSTIN – Texas lawmakers can and should do everything they can to respond to the Allen Mall mass shooting and others like it, the Republican representing the area said Monday.
Before a moment of silence on the floor of the Texas House in remembrance for the victims of Saturday’s Allen Premium Outlets shooting, Rep. Jeff Leach said lawmakers need to address the issue of mob gun violence. He admitted that he does not know what legislative approaches should be taken at the moment.
The 2023 session ends on May 29.
“There are many things we don’t know. But one thing I do know is that it’s happening way too often, and it doesn’t have to be that way,” Leach said, R-Plano. “I don’t have the answers. I don’t have a bill in front of you. , there are bills ahead of us that could have prevented that. I don’t know. I don’t know.”
“We will respond with courage, speed, intelligence and do everything we can to address this issue,” he added.
Outside the House on Monday, Uvalde’s families gathered to ask lawmakers to pass gun control legislation. Their songs could be heard filtering into the chamber of the Chamber throughout the morning.
On Monday, a House committee approved a bill supported by the Uvalde families that would raise the age for purchasing a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21. , legally purchased the firearms he used on the days of the shooting after he turned 18.
The gunman in the Allen shooting, whom law enforcement killed at the scene, was identified as a 33-year-old man. Records show he was born in Dallas County. Officials have released little recorded information about the gunman or his motives.
Texas GOP leaders downplayed the potential of gun control legislation following the shooting. On Sunday, Gov. Greg Abbott said they should focus on mental health services.
“We’re working to address that anger and violence by going to its root cause, which is addressing the mental health issues behind it,” Abbott told Fox News. “People want a quick fix. The long-term solution here is to address the mental health issue.
Leach concluded his speech by mentioning a boy named William, one of the victims who Leach says is in critical condition after being wounded in Saturday’s shooting. When he wakes up, Leach said, he’ll know his parents and sister were killed.
“I believe in a great God who meets our need, who grants us wisdom when we ask for it. And I know this body will have asked for wisdom and answered with courage,” he said.