Governor Abbott Should Focus More on Keeping Guns Out of Hands of People with Dangerous Histories Rather Than Expanding a Program That Allows Teachers and School Staff to Be Armed
AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today responded to Gov. Greg Abbott’s school safety plan, which called for a study committee on life-saving Red Flag Laws while emphasizing an expansion of the school marshal program, which allows teachers, principals, coaches and other school staff in Texas to be armed.
There is no evidence that arming teachers or staff protects children in schools. To the contrary, arming teachers ignores research that shows that having access to a gun increases the risks posed to children, which is why teachers and law enforcement largely oppose this dangerous policy. More information about the risk of allowing civilians to carry guns in schools is available here.
Last week, dozens of Texas students wrote a letter to Gov. Abbott asking him to meet with them and urging him to take meaningful action to prevent gun violence. “Our job is to be good students,” they wrote. “Your job is to keep us safe. You have failed at your job.”
STATEMENT FROM ALANNA MILLER, A VOLUNTEER WITH STUDENTS DEMAND ACTION FROM SOUTHLAKE, TEXAS:
“After the shooting at Santa Fe High School, I joined students from across Texas in sending Gov. Abbott a letter asking him to meet with us. I am heartened to hear that he spoke to Santa Fe families, but regret I did not have the chance to tell him what it’s like to go to school everyday terrified we won’t come home. Unfortunately, the proposals the governor released today don’t go far enough to fight the gun violence that plagues Texas. The governor needs to throw his full weight behind passing a meaningful Red Flag Law and requiring background checks on all gun sales, laws that are proven to save lives.”
STATEMENT FROM DONNA SCHMIDT, A VOLUNTEER WITH THE TEXAS CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“As a mom, my number one priority is making sure my kids are safe. I was encouraged to hear Gov. Abbott mention his desire for a legislative study of Red Flag Laws that allow family members or law enforcement to ask a court to temporarily remove guns from those who would do harm to themselves or others. But we need more than a study – we need robust legislation, and Abbott needs to sign it as three other governors of both parties have this year. I urge the governor to build political consensus around a meaningful Red Flag Law and to call a special session to pass it quickly. Without legislation like a Red Flag Law, the proposal Gov. Abbott announced today doesn’t do enough to keep my kids – or students across Texas – safer from gun violence.”