Mayor Eric Johnson joined 12 other mayors of large Texas cities in calling for Texas state leadership to take action on gun reform.
Johnson, along with the other Texas mayors including those from Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio, published a statement asking for Governor Greg Abbott to call a special session to discuss the following:
- Require gun purchasers to complete a universal background check
- Increase the age to purchase an assault weapon in the state to 21
- Pass Red Flag laws to identify threats before shooting
- Make an increase in funding to support mental health
- Train and resource safety officers in schools
The statement says these measures would have prevented shooters in El Paso and Uvalde from obtaining their weapons.
“All our communities have supported our local law enforcement during these difficult times of civil unrest and pandemic-related violence,” the statement reads. “Pursuing gun policies that ease access to firearms makes the jobs of our first responders even more difficult.”
The statement also says that Texas is ranked 50th in the nation for mental health care access by Mental Health America, calling it a “long-neglected area.” To address this, the state needs to expand existing programs by increasing funding for counselors, social workers, and public school support staff, the statement says.
“Protecting the 2nd Amendment means passing responsible policies that a wide majority of law-abiding gun owners support,” the statement reads. “We cannot stand idly by while more of our fellow Texans, often our children and law enforcement officers, are laid to rest as the result of another preventable shooting.”