Texas Dems Pressure Gov. Abbott To Call Special Session On Gun Violence

Chris Fox
September 05, 2019 - 7:04 am
Texas State House and Senate Democrats

Credit: Chris Fox, 1080 KRLD

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AUSTIN (1080 KRLD) - Texas House Democrats held statewide press conferences in Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Houston and San Antonio to pressure Governor Abbott to call a special session to deal with the epidemic of gun violence.

Nine State House and Senate Democrats gathered on the South Capitol steps just under Governor Abbott’s office to let him know they want action.

State Representative Celia Israel led off the Austin press conference. “Earlier this morning a letter was delivered to Governor Abbott calling on him to initiate an emergency special session on gun violence. The letter was signed by over sixty members of the House Democratic Caucus.” In fact it was signed by 61 of the 66 members of the caucus.

The letter reads, “Members of the House Democratic Caucus, for several sessions now, have proposed dozens of specific bills aimed at changing the status quo by making Texans safer through common-sense gun and public safety legislation.”

The letter also included 5 items the caucus wants to see on a special session call:

1. Enacting extreme risk protective order laws and closing existing loopholes in current protective order laws.

2. Closing the background check loopholes.

3. Banning the sale of high-capacity magazines.

4. Limiting the open carry of certain semi-automatic long guns.

5. Requiring stolen guns be reported to law enforcement.

While the Austin press conference was going on Abbott spokesman John Wittman released the following statement:

"Governor Abbott made clear in Odessa that all strategies are on the table that will lead to laws that make Texans safer. But that doesn't include a helter skelter approach that hastily calls for perfunctory votes that divide legislators along party lines. Instead, the Governor seeks consensus rather than division. The Democrats who are part of today's partisan pitch can be part of the bi-partisan legislative process announced yesterday that is geared toward achieving real solutions, or they can be part of politics as usual that will accomplish nothing. Legislating on tough issues is hard and takes time. If Democrats really want to change the law, they need to stop talking to cameras and start talking to colleagues in the Capitol to reach consensus."

The comments elicited an immediate response from State Representative Donna Howard, “You know who can build a consensus is the Governor. If the Governor speaks up and says that he will get behind certain legislation, we will have a consensus.”