One whole year has passed since the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, which left 21 people dead, including 19 children.
Joe Moody, a Texas representative, speaks about the 2023 legislative session and the planned bill to change the state’s gun laws.
On Monday, the legislative session will come to a conclusion, and according to Moody, nothing has been done to change the state’s lax gun laws.
“This session is not going to result in the legislation that we wanted but that does not mean, its the end of this story,” Moody said.
Moody was on the inquiry team that was dispatched to Uvalde in 2022 and represented portions of El Paso County.
According to him, numerous system flaws were found that might have contributed to the Robb Elementary School massacre.
“Some of that was due to the lack of security of the school. Some of that was due to improper actions by law enforcement. Some of that was due to lack of supports and services for students and one very big part of it was access to high power firearms for individuals that shouldn’t have access to firearms,” Moody said.
As a result, the “Raise the Age” bill was created.
It is legislation that, according to Moody, would have averted the Uvalde mass shooting because the assailant was only 18 years old, by raising the legal limit for purchasing powerful firearms from 18 to 21.
“At the moment, the legislation states that an 18-year-old can buy these, which is what happened there. In fact, the attacker made several attempts to buy those before turning 18 but was unsuccessful each time. demonstrating the efficacy of our legislation. However, once he turned 18 and that obstacle was lifted, he could start attacking those students and teachers, according to Moody.
Here is a tweet related to the mass shooting:
"I think this kind of pain never goes away."
— ABC News (@ABC) May 24, 2023
Bipartisan Bill to Raise Gun Purchase Age Stalls in Texas
The bipartisan bill did pass the Texas House Committee, but it did not move forward after that. By the end of the legislative session, Greg Abbott will not have received the bill.
“We approved it in the house committee, which I sit on. We gave it our all during the process. We even managed a cross-party vote. Additionally, 2 Republicans voted on it. In the end, we need people within this building who will pay attention to those outside. Texas residents are aware that this common sense approach does not infringe on any constitutional rights. And it will save lives,” stated Moody.
Given the previous mass shootings, which include one in 2019 at a Walmart in El Paso, another in Uvalde in 2022, and the one that occurred earlier this month in Allen, Texas, some politicians are worried that the bill would stall.
Although the ‘increase the age’ law would not have prevented the 33-year-old gunman who carried out the Allen mass shooting, Moody said that the bill would save lives and that it was disappointing that it did not advance in the session.
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What will it require? I’m not sure. But I’ll let you know this. I won’t give up on it until I finish. When I left Uvalde last year, I made the same promise to those families as I had made to the residents of El Paso, Moody said.
Monday marks the conclusion of the 2023 Texas legislative session; the following session won’t start until 2025.
Moody urges people of all ages to engage in political activism in the meantime.
“We need to keep working toward that change and enlisting support from others. Sometimes, it is difficult. It is demoralizing. It might become irritating. It has a temper. But despite all those feelings, you must maintain and cling to hope since that is what will motivate us to prevail and secure favorable policies for this state.
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