Texas

Speaker: Debate on gun control proposals possible in Texas House, but approval unlikely

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan indicated he was open in this legislative session to debate on the floor of the House on proposals to raise the minimum age for purchasing military rifles from 18 to 21, but he told reporters during a briefing on Thursday that the measure was not necessary. support to pass in the chamber.

Raising the legal age to acquire the gun that an 18-year-old gunman used in May to kill 19 fourth graders and two teachers in a mass school shooting in Uvalda was a key demand from the victims’ families. Police said the shooter legally bought his gun shortly after his 18th birthday before setting off the deadliest school shooting in Texas history.

Despite months of desperate pleas from the Uvalde families and other gun control activists, the proposal failed to gain support among Republicans, including Gov. Greg Abbott, who said he considered the age increase unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has not yet made a final decision on the matter.

Speaker of the House Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont (center), celebrates with his family and hugs his son Mac after he was sworn in as Speaker on Tuesday.

Phelan, who recently traveled to Uvalde to meet with families of the victims, said he does not believe the policy has enough support among Republicans in the House of Representatives for it not to be debated.

“I can count votes. And I told the families, I was very candid with them at Uvald, “I don’t want to mislead you, I just want to tell you that this is where I think the votes are in the Texas House,” Phelan told reporters. Thursday.

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