Texas Lawmakers Advance Gun Control Bill

This week, lawmakers in Texas advanced gun control legislation in the wake of the deadly mall shooting in Allen on Saturday, which claimed eight lives.

On Monday, the State House committee voted in favor of a bill that would raise the legal age for purchasing modern sporting rifles to 21 and prohibit the sale of firearms to intoxicated individuals and those with protective orders against them.

Two Republicans joined all the Democrats on the committee to pass the bill in an 8-5 vote.

Despite Monday’s unexpected result, the bill still faces significant challenges and time constraints for it to be passed.

Democrats may not have enough support to pass the bill in the state House, and even if it passes, the Republican-dominated state Senate and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has expressed opposition to the gun legislation, still need to approve it.

SEE ALSO: Biden Tells Lawmakers He Will Sign ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban Immediately

In a “Fox News Sunday” appearance, Gov. Abbott said his administration is focusing on addressing “the anger and violence by going to its root cause, which is addressing the mental health problems behind it.”

“I think that the state in which the largest number of victims have occurred this year is in California where they have very tough gun laws were 11 people died. And so, one thing that we can observe very easily and that is there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of anger and violence that’s taking place in America,” said Abbott.

“We know that Texas had been lagging in mental health for years, and that’s why over the past three sessions, we’ve added almost $25 billion to address mental health,” he continued. “We’re in the waning days of a session right now where we will be adding even more funding, about $3 billion to address mental health needs in the state of Texas, especially in rural Texas and especially for children in schools.”

The perpetrator of the mall shooting was in his 30s. Even if the law was on the books it would not have prevented him from purchasing an AR-style rifle.

It’s also worth pointing out that handguns, not long guns, are used in the majority of mass public shootings, according to the National Institute of Justice (see table below).

Table 1: Type of Weapon Used (1966-2019, 172 Public Mass Shootings)

Type of WeaponPercentage of UsageTotal Shootings StudiedYears CoveredSource
“Assault Weapons”25.1%1721966-2019NIJ

Source: National Institute of Justice, The Violence Project Database (1966-2019)

Note that the percentages in the table do not add up to 100% because some mass shooters might have used multiple types of firearms during an incident.

Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis doesn’t believe age restrictions for black rifle purchases will pass Constitutional muster.

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

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  • FROG May 12, 2023, 12:31 pm

    Age has nothing to do with it, I joined the US Navy at 17 and carried a gun. I was old enough to fight and die for my country, but could not buy a beer even though I do not drink. My Dad brought me up right and taught me to shoot and respect guns, people, animals, etc. We have a people problem and a social problem, we have schools teaching CRT, white supremacy, pedophilia, and letting transvestites/ queers dance in front of small children. When the parents protest, they are labeled terrorists by the biased media and current administration. In 1979 we use to carry rifles on gun racks in our pickup trucks, no one would break in and steal them, law approved of it, and guess what barely any shootings/killings. What has changed, is the government controlling everything, parents not being able to discipline their children, and taking God out of everything. Wake Up America before it’s too late!

    • S May 12, 2023, 3:36 pm

      White supremacy thats funny as hell people like u making comments like that is whats wrong with the world black people get treated way better then any other race in the world

  • Ab Normal May 12, 2023, 11:04 am

    I sit and read this article and for the life of me I can’t do the math. What has 18-20 year old people have to do with some 30+ year old shooting up a mall? – “Gun Free Zone” by the way. They should make more laws about people in SUVs running people over too.

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