AUSTIN (CBSNewsTexas.com) — Democratic state senators are holding a press conference Monday morning in Austin arguing for the Texas Legislature to pass new gun safety laws.
State Senators Roland Gutierrez (D-San Antonio) and Sarah Eckhardt (D-Austin) are speaking at the state capital, along with relatives of victims of last year’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde.
It is not yet known what impact, if any, Saturday’s deadly mass shooting in Allen will have on the final weeks of the Texas legislature.
LIGHT: Political leaders comment on the deadly mass shootings in Allen
Democratic lawmakers have been pushing for more gun laws, but they don’t have the votes to pass the legislation.
Gutierrez, whose district includes represents Uvalde, has introduced several bills related to gun safety.
They include Senate Bill 144, which would keep guns away from people considered dangerous by a judge. And Senate Bill 145, which would raise the legal age to sell any firearm to 21.
Neither received a committee hearing.
Both bills were referred to the State Affairs Committee on February 15.
In the House, Democrat Representative Tracy King, who represents Uvalde, introduced House Bill 2744.
Among the provisions, it would raise the legal age to purchase an AR-style firearm to 21 and prohibit the sale of a firearm to someone who is intoxicated or has an active protective order.
This bill received a committee hearing on April 19, but has since been pending.
Senator Gutierrez released a statement following the Allen shooting, saying in part, “Texas lawmakers need to have the political courage to do something about gun violence. It’s sad that this has become our daily reality. Thanks to the Republican regime that has guided Texas for the past 30 years, gun laws are more flexible than ever.”
Republican majorities in both the Texas House and Senate do not support increasing gun restrictions in Texas.
Governor Abbott said the state is focused on passing bills to increase mental health spending by $3 billion this session.
The regular legislative session ends in three weeks, so time is running out for bills to be passed.