Before Today, Committee Members Had Failed to Hold a Vote on HB 2744; Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Volunteers Have Been in the Capitol Rotunda Since Early This Morning
AUSTIN — Today, the Texas chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement following Texas lawmakers – including two Republican lawmakers – voting to advance legislation to raise the age for purchasing assault weapons from 18 to 21 amid the committee reporting deadline this evening. This comes just two days after a deadly shooting in Allen where at least eight people were shot and killed, including a child, and at least seven more were shot and wounded. AR-15s and other assault weapons are the tool of choice by gunmen in nearly all of the 10 deadliest mass shootings since 2015, including the gunman in Uvalde, Texas, who shot and killed 19 children and two teachers in their elementary school. And the same weapon used in the heinous tragedy in Allen, Texas.
“It shouldn’t take a tragedy like what happened this weekend to get our lawmakers to act, but this is a welcome and vital step,” said Liz Hanks, a volunteer with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action. “For months, we have been advocating for stricter gun laws to prevent senseless acts of gun violence, but today, the real work begins. This is about saving the lives of our kids and ensuring we prioritize public safety over the interests of the gun lobby. Lawmakers owe it to our communities to take proactive measures to protect Texas communities.”
“My generation has grown up in a country shaped and haunted by gun violence, but we won’t let that stop us from raising our voice and demanding a safer future,” said Brynn Beecham, a volunteer with the Texas chapter of Students Demand Action. “Today’s vote is a crucial step in the right direction, but we won’t give up, and we will keep holding lawmakers accountable until we see the change we need and measures like this become law.”
Following the Allen mall shooting, the Texas chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, joined community partners and fellow constituents in Austin to call for action on gun safety measures, including HB 2744 which would prohibit selling or transferring certain semi-automatic rifles to people under 21, including AR-15 style weapons.
In an average year, 3,996 people die by guns in Texas, and 5,556 more are wounded. Guns are the leading cause of death among children and teens in Texas. More information on gun violence in Texas is available here. If you are interested in speaking with a Texas Moms Demand Action or Students Demand volunteer, or a policy expert please reach out to [email protected].