In the wake of our state’s recent mass shooting and gun violence, the Gun Violence Prevention Act was passed at the last minute here in San Antonio.
Time is running out for bills written to change gun laws in Texas so they don’t make it to the committee set up to consider them.
“It’s sad that it has come to the last day,” said Berlinda Arreola, secretary of Lives Robbed.
Lives robbed is a non-profit organization created after the mass shooting at Robb’s elementary school in Uvalde.
Each new shoot makes us relive the worst day of our lives.
We fight for Allen, for Cleveland, for Uvalde, for El Paso, for Sutherland Springs, for Santa Fe, for Midland, for Dallas. We are fighting for your city.
We don’t have to fight so hard.
— LivesRobbed (@LivesRobbed) May 7, 2023
She said she was angry and resentful that the Texas House Select Committee on Public Safety did not take additional action to get through the gun bills.
This is what she hoped to see honor the victims of the Robb Elementary School shooting, like her stepdaughter Ameri Jo Garza.
“I just don’t understand what it takes for everyone to understand how real this is, how traumatic this is, how it won’t stop if we don’t make changes, it’s just gun laws based on common sense,” Arreola said.
The House Select Committee on Public Safety was established in February.
It has 13 bipartisan members who will consider bills relating to firearms: possession, use, sale and transfer.
Of the 139 bills submitted to the committee since the start of the regular legislative session on January 10, only 29 have not been considered by the committee.
Monday, May 8, marks the last day that House committees report that their bills must be placed on the House calendar for debate, putting the 110 bills left on the table by the Public Safety Committee at risk.
“Every representative will have it in their hands, whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, you know it doesn’t matter because, you know, a bullet makes no difference,” Arreola said.
Just a day after the mass shooting at the Allen mall that left eight people dead and nine injured, Arreola said it was clearer than ever that something needed to be done as soon as possible.
Uvalde spokesman Tracey King’s bill, HB 2744, is one of the measures that will be affected by Monday’s deadline.
“I call this account 21 by 21, for the 21 souls we lost in Uvalde. Let’s raise the age of 21 to buy these weapons that have claimed these innocent lives,” said King of Texas District 80.
The Uvalde families have been campaigning for HB 2744 for months.
King is not alone – State Senator Roland Gutierrez has filed 24 bills in response to what happened in Robb last May.
None of his bills made it to hearings.
The chairman of the committee did not give any explanation why the other 110 bills were not considered or put to a vote.
On Monday morning, a coalition of gun violence prevention groups in Austin scheduled a Texas Gun Sense rally to spur the committee into action.
It all happens at 9 am
An hour later, Senator Gutierrez will be joined by the Uvalde families to call for the same action.
KSAT 12 News will broadcast this press conference at 10 am online.
If you would like to give your opinion or ask the representatives of the Committee of Public Safety to put these bills to a vote, you can call the members directly.
Maya Zamora is one of the eleven survivors of room 112. Her mom and dad testified in support of HB 2744 over two weeks ago. They have different paths to healing, but together we are stronger.
On May 24, 21 lives were robbed, but the entire community was devastated. pic.twitter.com/SySDZIPzsj
— LivesRobbed (@LivesRobbed) May 5, 2023
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