AUSTIN (CBSNewsTexas.com) — Governor Greg Abbott and Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw are expected to brief reporters on the state’s efforts to secure the border Monday morning.
CBS News Texas will now also ask about the investigation into Saturday’s deadly mass shooting in Allen, where eight victims were tragically killed.
LIGHT: Political leaders comment on the deadly mass shootings in Allen
It is not yet known what impact, if any, the shooting will have on the final weeks of the Texas Legislature.
Republican majorities in both the Texas House and Senate do not support increasing gun restrictions in Texas.
Governor Abbott was asked about the guns on Fox News Sunday morning.
“What we’ve seen in the United States over the past couple of years is an increase in the number of shootings in both red states and blue states,” he said. “We have seen an increase in the number of shootings in states with easy gun laws and states with very strict gun laws. I think the state that has the most fatalities this year is in California, where they have had very tough gun laws”.
The governor said the state is focused on passing bills to increase mental health spending by $3 billion this session.
Democratic lawmakers have been pushing for more gun laws, but they don’t have the votes to pass the legislation.
Democratic state Senator Roland Gutierrez, who represents Uvalde, has filed numerous 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.”
The regular legislative session ends in three weeks, so time is running out for bills to be passed.
There’s a new poll on how Texans feel about gun restrictions. Last week, UT Austin’s Texas Politics Project released the results of its survey it conducted last month.
The poll found that when it comes to a red flag law, 72% of people support it while 18% oppose it.
A majority of Republicans polled, 65 percent, also support it.
When it comes to raising the legal age someone can buy any firearm to 21, 76% support it, 20% oppose.
A majority of Republicans – 67% to be exact – said they supported it.
During this legislative session, the families of victims in Uvalde tried to keep pressure on Republican lawmakers.
But gun restrictions were part of the debate in last year’s elections for governor, lieutenant governor and lawmakers. Republicans remained in the majority in both houses.
Aside from the governor addressing reporters, Sen. Gutierrez and Sen. Carol Alvarado (D-Houston), chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus, will hold a news conference on Capitol Hill Monday morning on gun issues.