Texas State Committee Approves New Restrictions On Assault Rifles

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A committee in the Texas state House of Representatives has approved a measure that if fully okayed and implemented would raise the minimum age for purchasing certain kinds of long guns to 21.

It’s this exact measure that was undertaken in Florida after the shooting at a high school in Parkland in that state, and having previously implemented the change could’ve meant the shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, never happened. The teenager who carried out that atrocity had legally obtained a weapon he used. Elsewhere, Colorado Democratic Governor Jared Polis also recently signed similar updates to his state’s gun rules into law, but it’s not just Democrats who are behind these initiatives. When Florida made that update, the change was signed into law by Republican Governor Rick Scott.

The Texas legislative committee that approved the rules change on Monday was the Select Committee on Community Safety. As could be expected, demonstrators and observers in support of the change gathered in legislative chambers on the occasion of the vote taken on Monday. “This is probably one of the most emotional votes I’ve covered,” journalist Sergio Martínez-Beltrán shared on Twitter. “Republican and Democratic lawmakers hugged the parents of the #Uvalde shooting and everyone was crying.” Multiple Republicans on the panel agreed with advancing the measure. Video posted by the same individual showed cheers erupting when the outcome of the committee’s vote on the proposal was formally read.

According to longtime activism leader Shannon Watts, a next step for the initiative will be placing the proposal on a schedule for action by the full chamber. “Now the Raise the Age bill needs to get placed on the House floor calendar by the calendars committee,” she said. “Texas @MomsDemand volunteers are still at the statehouse, going door-to-door to Calendars Committee member offices.” Texas just recently experienced yet another mass shooting, which took place at a mall in Allen, which is near Dallas and Fort Worth. Eight people were killed in the incident on Saturday, which early reports have appeared to indicate was perpetrated by an individual adhering to white supremacist ideology. Those killed and wounded in the assault included young children, who have been among the victims of high-profile incidents, from the Uvalde attack to the recent shooting at a private school in Nashville, over and over.

Image: Gage Skidmore/ Creative Commons