gun reform

Texas Mayors Call for a Special Session to Address Guns and Mental Health

Mayors from 13 big cities in the state signed a bipartisan letter urging the governor to call a special session

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Mayors from across the state, including five from North Texas, said they want Republican Gov. Greg Abbott to call a special session regarding gun reform and mental health in response to the deadly shootings in Uvalde and El Paso.

In a letter, 13 members of "Texas' Big City Mayors" signed a letter asking state lawmakers to "find the right solutions for Texas."

They want Abbott to call a special session that addresses universal background checks, increasing the age to 21 to buy an assault weapon, passing Red Flag laws, increasing funding for mental health support and training, along with resources, for school safety officers.

"I don't want to see our state, our federal government, anybody, sit on their hands any longer about this," said Arlington Mayor Jim Ross.

He signed the letter after it circulated around the Big Cities Mayor group.

"To hear the extreme beliefs that somehow this is taking the Second Amendment away from people is flat out wrong," said Ross. "We have to approach these gun control issues the same way we did seatbelts, the same way we did helmets, the same way we did the pandemic (with masks)."

Mayors from both sides of the aisle signed the letter, including Fort Worth Mayor Maddie Parker and Plano Mayor John Muns, who have in the past identified with the Republican Party.

"I chose to join 12 mayors of Texas' most populous cities in signing this letter because we must be better for Texans," said Parker in a statement. "The reforms proposed in this letter are grounded in our unified desire to better protect the children in each of our communities. By implementing these kinds of commonsense bipartisan solutions, we will make schools, neighborhoods and cities safer, while continuing to respect American rights to gun ownership."

"After the tragedy in Uvalde, there has been a resounding bipartisan call for action," said Muns in a statement. "I have joined with my Big City Mayor colleagues to ask the Texas governor and legislature to take action by dedicating meaningful resources to protect everyone, especially our children and educators, from active shooters. I believe the actions we are calling for in this letter reflect common-sense policies that will help prevent future tragedies."

The letter came hours before U.S. senators moved forward with their own deal on gun legislation. Sen. John Cornyn (R) was one of the main negotiators for the bipartisan bill, which passed a procedural vote Tuesday night 64 -63.

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