TARRANT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – With just a couple months before school starts again, Tarrant County leaders joined calls for state lawmakers to return to Austin in a special session to do something to protect children from mass shootings.
The resolution passed unanimously by county commissioners Tuesday didn’t include any specific protections, instead encouraging Governor Abbott to bring legislators back to consider “common sense policies.”
Tarrant joins Dallas and Harris counties in calling for a special session before next year.
Commissioner Roy Charles Brooks, who read the resolution for consideration, said it needs to happen before the end of the summer.
“Parents, students and faculty administrators need some relief before the start of school,” he said.
The resolution was worded carefully, avoiding mention of particular reforms.
Asked what those common sense policies referred to might include, County Judge Glen Whitley mentioned background checks for all firearms purchases, training requirements, red flag laws and raising the age to buy a rifle to 21.
As far as steps the county could take, Whitley and Brooks said federal dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act could be used through one of their focus areas to “Strengthen the Community.” A request for proposals this spring on how to use $35 million in funds listed mitigating impacts of community violence as a goal. It didn’t specifically mention guns or shootings, but leaders said Tuesday safe storage or gun lock programs, could qualify.