UVALDE, Texas — A year after a gunman murdered nineteen children and their two teachers with an AR-15, many have called for change, whether that’s gun control or school safety bills.
Families of some of the victims killed exactly a year ago have spent countless hours travelling from Uvalde to the Texas Capitol, advocating for change.
If you remember, State Senator Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat representing Uvalde has been a staunch supporter of gun control legislation.
For weeks, he held press conferences and introduced 21 bills calling for change, including universal background checks and red flag laws.
But these didn’t pass, including House Bill 2744.
The bill would have raised the minimum age to buy certain semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21.
Two days after the Allen mall shooting and hours of testimony from families, House Bill 2744 cleared a safety committee but failed to pass a key deadline the very next day.
Opponents of the bill, including Governor Greg Abbott, say the bill would violate the constitutional rights of young adults.
Families did express frustration after these bills didn’t pass.
“Do you hope we will go away? Because if that’s the case, you’re sadly mistaken.”
Some bills that have made progress include Senate Bill 728 and House Bill 2454.
Senate Bill 728 requires courts to report involuntary mental health hospitalizations of minors 16 and older to a federal background check system.
That bill is headed to the governor’s desk.
House Bill 2545 would prevent someone from providing a firearm for someone not allowed to have one, but the most change has come to Texas schools.
State officials provided schools with $105.5 million dollars for safety and mental health resources.
It also included $50 million for bullet resistant shields for schools.
House Bill 249 would establish a school safety officer volunteer program for retired vets and ex police officers.
House Bill 3 offers schools $100 per student and $150,000 for security.
Senate Bill 11 would put $800 million toward school safety and creates a security department within the TEA.
At the federal level, after the shooting at Robb Elementary, Congress passed the bi-partisan Safer Communities Act.
The bill increases the number of qualified mental health professionals in schools and covers the cost of the services.
“One thing we can all agree on, is we got to keep firearms out of the hands of people who are suffering from mental health problems,” said Senator Cornyn.
The Texas legislative session is expected to end next week.