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Texas Senate Democrats file 'Robb Elementary Firearm Safety Act' to address gun violence

Some Texas lawmakers say this will help save lives. However, the likelihood of this gun bill passing remains a question.

TEXAS, USA — Texas Senate Democrats filed an omnibus bill Monday seeking to address gun violence in the state.

The bill, called the “Robb Elementary Firearm Safety Act,” is a 33-page omnibus bill that was drafted in response to the many mass shootings in Texas.

Some Texas lawmakers say this will help save lives. However, the likelihood of this gun bill passing remains a question.

“I think what Democrats, and this is clearly a Democratic-sponsored bill, have done is taken all these little pieces that have been out there for many years but seemed to have come to a head,” Bob Stein, KHOU 11 political analyst, said.

The tipping point for many lawmakers was the Robb Elementary School shooting where 19 children and two teachers lost their lives.

"It’s the anti-gun violence legislation. It’s not a pro-gun, or anti-gun but anti-gun violence,” Stein assessed.

The “Robb Elementary Firearm Safety Act,” also known as Senate Bill 1274, is being led by Uvalde Senator Roland Gutierrez. It combines a number of gun-related bills into one, but there are outstanding concerns with some of the provisions. 

“There are some issues here that go right up against the U.S. Constitution,” Stein said of concerns with parts of the bill.

There are sections in the bill that would raise the minimum age to purchase an assault weapon to 21 and require background checks for all firearm sales.

“The courts have been pretty clear," Sein said. "They’ve overturned laws in New York banning assault weapons, banning under 21 years of age buying a weapon."

Other parts of the bill could gain traction, like the risk protections and a 72-hour “cooling off” period after buying a gun.

“And that is prohibiting people who have been identified by the courts, law enforcement as dangerous to themselves or others,” he said.

In the Republican-majority state Capitol that has gotten more conservative, gun bills like this one could be dead on arrival.

“Rather than trying to fight to get each bill out of committee and get a vote on, they put them in one bill knowing that the bill will of course not get out of committee into the floor because the House doesn’t want, nor does the Senate want to take a vote on it,” Stein said.

The NRA Institute for Legislative Action has tracked over 40 gun-related proposals in the Texas legislature.

Gerald Harris on social media: Facebook | Twitter

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