One day after Gov. Greg Abbott formed a domestic terrorism task force in response to the El Paso shooting, San Antonio City Council members unanimously passed a resolution Aug. 15 calling for a special session to address gun safety measures and “reduce the risk of mass shootings in other Texas communities.”
Proposed by San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, the resolution comes less than two weeks after the shooting at an El Paso Walmart that killed 22 shoppers. Also mentioned in the resolution is the 2017 shooting at a Sutherland Springs church that took place about 30 miles east of San Antonio and killed 26 people.
The council joins more than 15 state lawmakers who have asked Abbott to call a special session, including Rep. Roland Gutierrez, D-San Antonio; Rep. Gina Hinojosa, D-Austin; and Rep. Shawn Thierry, D-Houston. Gutierrez also launched an online petition last week to place further pressure on Abbott's office.
The resolution also mentions Abbott's School and Firearm Safety Action Plan from 2018, which included a recommendation for lawmakers to explore enacting a red flag law. Red flag laws would allow law enforcement — and sometimes other parties — to ask courts to order the seizure or surrender of guns from individuals deemed dangerous by a judge. Abbott later backed away from the discussion, and Texas lawmakers didn't pass those laws or other gun safety legislation during this year's legislative session.
Abbott's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
"This is personal. We must refuse to sit idly by while communities are shattered," Nirenberg said in an email. "We must refuse the path most-traveled. We must refuse to accept bloodshed as an inevitability. We must make a commitment here and now to do better."
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2019/08/15/san-antonio-city-council-call-for-special-session-gun-violence-el-paso/.
Texas Tribune mission statement
The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.