Texas

Families of Uvalde shooting victims to visit Texas Capitol weekly to discuss gun laws

Marissa Lozano wants lawmakers to do something about gun safety.

Her sister, Irma Garcia, was one of 21 people killed eight months ago at Robb’s elementary school in Uvalda. She said she was disappointed with the Texas Legislature, claiming they did nothing to prevent future school shootings.

“I wonder if there were 21 abortions in these classes if our elected officials stepped in and did the right thing,” Lozano told reporters in Austin on Tuesday.

Lozano and the families of the other victims of the shooting said they would go to the Legislature every week to call for changes to the state’s gun laws.

State Senator Roland Gutierrez, D-San Antonio State, worked with the families to submit legislation that would help achieve some of their goals.

During a press conference with families on Tuesday, Gutiérrez announced a package of bills that would end qualified immunity for police officers, making them more vulnerable to lawsuits from victims of police violence. The law would also allow families of victims of the Robb Elementary School shooting to sue the state or any of its agencies for inept law enforcement responses.

“It should be a session where we do something,” Gutierrez said. “It can’t be a session where we have roundtables, it can’t be a session where we have discussions – it has to be a session where we do something about gun safety.”

Law enforcement waited over 70 minutes to confront and kill the teen shooter in Uvalda.

Other bills from Gutierrez call on Congress to repeal the Lawful Arms Trade Protection Act. This the federal law grants weapons manufacturers immunity from lawsuits. Another bill provides for the creation of a permanent compensation fund for victims of school shootings.

Lozano said she will also fight for the Legislature to raise the minimum age for buying a semi-automatic rifle from 18 to 21. This is an offer. many in Uvalde supported as a potential solution.

“You’re saying that raising the age limit won’t prevent these atrocities because the perpetrators don’t follow the law,” Lozano said. “Well, this shooter did.”

The Uvalde shooter bought his firearm shortly after his 18th birthday.

Republicans in the Legislature, as well as Gov. Greg Abbott, have said raising the voting age may be unconstitutional, although experts question their claims. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.

Felicia Martinez, the mother of 10-year-old Xavier Lopez, who was the victim of Uvalde, also called for a change in the age limit.

“I think the age limit should be raised to 21 because separated families are unbearable,” she said.

Copyright 2023 CUT 90.5. To see more, visit KUT 90.5.

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