Texas Senate report on preventing school shootings has little to say on guns

Citing “a strong lack of consensus,” the committee didn’t recommend raising the age for purchasing an assault-style rifle from 18 to 21.

By Alexandra Hart and Wells DunbarDecember 23, 2022 10:45 am, ,

A special committee of Texas senators formed after the Uvalde shooting has released its findings, which focuses on mental health and downplays access to guns.

“This report really focused, not surprisingly, on increasing mental health care, increasing school security,” says Texas Tribune political correspondent Patrick Svitek, adding it offered little “on the topic that I think a lot of people are interested in, which is gun control or curbing gun violence by restricting gun use.”

One proposal related to guns was included in the committee report: outlawing straw purchases of guns at the state level, where someone purchases a firearm for someone who cannot buy it themselves. Such a law would not have prevented the Uvalde massacre, and straw purchases are already a federal crime, “but members of this committee are concerned that it’s not being prosecuted enough,” Svitek says. The report also acknowledged the movement to raise the age to buy an assault-style rifle from 18 to 21, but failed to recommend the change.

Ultimately, “whether they were going to make any recommendations related to new gun restrictions, it was a pretty meager section,” Svitek says.

For more stories from the week in Texas politics, including Texas dropping its opposition to people under 21 carrying guns in public, and the Texas pushback against releasing Donald Trump’s tax returns, listen in the audio player above.

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