Greg Abbott’s School Safety Plan Includes ‘Red Flag Law’ Proposed By Democratic Rep. Joe Moody

“I’m just glad that there’s a conversation going on. This was a nonstarter last session, across the board.”

By Rhonda FanningJune 1, 2018 10:56 am| ,

Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to curb school shootings has embraced an idea championed by an El Paso Democrat, State Rep. Joe Moody. The idea is called a “red flag law.”

Moody says his proposed legislation calls for a mechanism by which a person who is in crisis, and poses an eminent danger to themselves or others when guns are present, would lose access to their firearms. He says similar laws exist in other states, and at the federal level.

“Certainly, when I came to it, we were thinking of it on the mental health front – suicide prevention – it certainly could help prevent or curb mass shootings as well,” Moody says.

He says he’s grateful that the idea has gained bipartisan support in light of the Santa Fe High School shooting. When he proposed a red flag law during the last legislative session, he didn’t get enough support to pass it.

“Unfortunately, the response was fairly predictable,” he says. “There [were] accusations that it was a gun grab, or a gun confiscation bill – that there was no due process, that there were constitutional concerns. Unfortunately, that kind of rhetoric, which was false, and incorrect about the bill just stalled things out.”

Moody has a mixed reaction to other elements of the governor’s 40-point school safety plan, calling some of it “shortsighted.”

“Giving training, and putting money into arming teachers and other personnel – I don’t know that that should be a priority,” Moody says. “I think there are security forces that exist in local communities that you can help equip… to handle these situations.”

Moody does support better training for those who are already charged with keeping schools safe, and says he appreciates the governor’s interest in addressing the issue of school violence.

“I’m just glad that there’s a conversation going on,” he says. “This was a nonstarter last session, across the board.”

Written by Shelly Brisbin.