DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Following the, Democratic State Senator Royce West is among the Senators named by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick to the newly formed Special Committee To Protect All Texans.
Senator West said Thursday that he agrees with Governor Greg Abbott’s request that the special committees in the Senate and House come up with recommendations on school safety, mental health, firearm safety, police training, and social media. “Let’s not underscore the importance of what we’re doing, as relates to some of these issues, more specifically, the issue concerning firearms, that’s the big issue right there, and how people in the state of Texas want to deal with that.”
Republican State Senator Drew Springer isn’t on the committee but said Thursday he will attend the committee’s first hearing at the Texas Capitol June 23rd.
He said he’s already had discussions with his fellow Republican lawmakers about.
“If we have adolescents today, they get caught drinking, they don’t get their driver’s license at 16, they have to wait longer,” Springer said. “Maybe if we have somebody who’s threatened to shoot at school to do violence, who’s harmed animals, and said, being able to get the gun at 18, maybe it’s 21, maybe it’s 25.”
Springer said he opposes Democrats’ calls for universal background checks and that any red-flag laws that he would consider must allow for a person’s due process rights.
“I got to say, the vast, vast majority of our law-abiding citizens own guns for their own protection,” Springer said. “Nobody’s addressing taking guns away from the bad guys. All they really usually want to do is figure out how do we take guns from law abiding citizens and I can’t support that.”
Senator West said reaching consensus is necessary.
“I’m realistic, that if we don’t have Republican support, on at least discussing these issues, and trying to come up with a compromise solution, nothing will get done,” West said. “What you work on, is trying to find common ground as it relates to other incremental change that will put citizens in the best position so they will be safe, and feels secure and sending their kids to school, going grocery shopping, being able to go to church.”
The Senators said they need to review laws the legislature passed in 2019 following the deadly shooting at Santa Fe High School.
That includes nearly $300 million allocated for children’s mental health in schools.
Senator Springer said, “Uvalde, unfortunately, was not accepted into the program by UT Health San Antonio. And we need to find out why after three years, they still haven’t fully got it gotten up to taking all schools in.”
He also said more needs to be reviewed.
“Texas State did an audit of over 1000 school districts in less than 20% of them had put in active shooter programming,” Springer said. “Now that says of 2020, and we’re going to ask for an update to see how far they work.”
Both Senators Springer and West said once the House and Senate committees develop recommendations, the Governor should call them back for a special session to pass specific legislation.
Governor Abbott hasn’t given any indication yet whether there will be a.
See Jack’s full interview with Senator Springer:
See Jack’s full interview with Senator West: