AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday raised concern about personal firearm gross sales however did not decide to crack down on them or act on gun management points following a gathering on methods to stop mass shootings such because the El Paso assault that killed 22 individuals.
Whereas lawmakers are feeling stress to reply shortly to the Aug. three taking pictures at a Walmart, Abbott signaled that Texas would take an extended and cautious take a look at gun legal guidelines and different security measures earlier than its Legislature subsequent meets in 2021.
Scrutinizing personal weapons gross sales was amongst an inventory of concepts Abbott rattled off after rising from a four-hour, closed-door assembly in regards to the El Paso taking pictures with lawmakers, police and representatives from Google, Fb and Twitter.
He additionally floated the concept of “welfare checks” when worries are raised about individuals with entry to firearms. Authorities have mentioned the mom of the suspected El Paso gunman, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, had referred to as police weeks earlier than the assault to specific concern about her son shopping for an “AK” type rifle.
“Proper now there may be nothing in legislation that might forestall one stranger from promoting a gun to a terrorist, and clearly that is a hazard that must be seemed into,” Abbott mentioned.
The El Paso taking pictures occurred hours earlier than one other gunman in Ohio killed 9 individuals in an leisure district. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, additionally a Republican, responded days later with a package of measures that he mentioned would forestall mass shootings. However Abbott is taking a slower method.
The discussions might be carefully adopted by gun-rights supporters, together with the Nationwide Rifle Affiliation, which earlier this yr praised Abbott for increasing gun rights in Texas. Some are set to take impact Sept. 1 and had been handed after greater than two dozen individuals had been killed in a 2017 Texas church taking pictures and a gunman killing 10 individuals at a highschool close to Houston final yr.
Abbott supplied no particulars about how Texas would possibly scrutinize personal gun gross sales however expressed worries that it might result in some firearms ending up within the incorrect palms. Authorities have mentioned Crusius legally bought the rifle used within the assault however haven’t mentioned from the place.
Executives from Google, Fb and Twitter left the assembly earlier than reporters had been let again into the room. They had been invited by Abbott after he referred to as for a crackdown on web websites utilized by violent extremists. Authorities consider Crusius posted a racist screed online shortly earlier than finishing up the assault.
Abbott mentioned the businesses supplied to supply a coaching program for each customers and legislation enforcement to determine those that could pose a hazard or deter potential assaults.
Gun Homeowners of America’s Texas chapter held a small rally exterior the Capitol earlier than Abbott’s assembly to protest the opportunity of “crimson flag” legal guidelines that might permit weapons to be faraway from an individual decided to be a hazard to themselves or others. The group additionally spoke in opposition to any “social media monitoring” which may end result from the discussions.
Stephen Willeford, who shot again on the gunman who attacked a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in 2017, mentioned gun homeowners don’t need extra restrictions and that “crimson flag” legal guidelines put off due course of.
The Giffords Legislation Heart to Stop Gun Violence launched a brand new report Thursday on firearm legal guidelines and gun violence in Texas, and equipped for its personal city corridor in El Paso.
Ari Freilich, an lawyer for the group, mentioned that among the many report’s proposals is disarming hate crime offenders and others convicted of violent crimes.
In keeping with the report, below Texas legislation, these convicted of violent hate crime assaults and hate crimes involving “terroristic threats” of violence are typically in a position to legally purchase and hold weapons instantly after conviction.
“We have additionally seen this earlier than, so we wish to make sure that the oldsters having these conversations know that it is time for a very critical dialog that is aware of methods through which Texans are being harmed on daily basis by weapons,” Freilich mentioned.
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