GIFFORDS: Texas Republicans Betray Uvalde Families
Washington DC — Today, GIFFORDS, the gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, condemned the Republican-led Texas House Calendars Committee for blocking legislation called for by survivors and family members of victims of last year’s shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. Despite passing through committee with bipartisan support, the Texas Republicans refused to allow a floor vote on HB 2744 which would raise the minimum age to purchase certain semiautomatic rifles. This comes just days after the latest mass shooting in Allen, Texas, where eight people were killed and another seven were injured.
Peter Ambler, GIFFORDS Executive Director:
“Almost a year after the appalling mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, mere weeks after a family of five were gunned down at their home in Cleveland and just days after eight people were murdered at a mall in Allen, lawmakers in Texas still refuse to take basic action on gun violence. Texans don’t even have time to grieve one shooting before the next one happens, and elected officials in the state continue to choose gun lobby profits over the lives of our children. I am furious that Republican leadership would betray the families from Uvalde and refuse to even allow a vote on this lifesaving legislation. GIFFORDS will continue to support victims and advocates in the fight to end gun violence in Texas.”
Steven Kling, GIFFORDS Gun Owners for Safety Senior Ambassador, Texas Chapter:
“How many more? How many more lives will need to be lost to this epidemic before there is action? Texans are tired, we have implored our lawmakers to take action but once again, they have failed. For a moment yesterday, we saw a glimmer of hope—but it was quickly stripped away with this committee’s inaction. Shame on this committee for again refusing to do the bare minimum to save lives. In the war against our pursuit of happiness, they have once again chosen the wrong side.”
About HB 2744, Raising the Minimum Age:
HB 2744 would prohibit the transfer of certain semiautomatic rifles to certain recipients, including raising the minimum age to purchase certain semiautomatic rifles to 21. Minors and young adults are at a significantly higher risk of engaging in violent behaviors, including school shootings. Data from the FBI suggests that young people disproportionately commit gun homicides. For example, people aged 18 to 20 comprise just four percent of the US population but account for 17% of known homicide offenders.
More on Texas:
Texas has some of the worst gun laws in the country. According to GIFFORDS Law Center’s Annual Gun Law Scorecard, the state received an F due to its dangerously weak gun laws. In 2021, Texas enacted permitless carry. In order to improve its grade, Texas should require background checks for all firearm sales, create extreme risk protection orders, repeal its permitless carry law, enact anti-gun trafficking laws, and strengthen protections for victims of domestic violence and hate crimes.
Four of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in recent US history have happened in Texas: 26 people were shot and killed at the Sutherland Springs shooting in 2017, 23 people were shot and killed at the Killeen shooting in 1991, 23 people were shot and killed at an El Paso Walmart in 2019.
Report: Gun Laws and Violence in Texas