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Texas mayors form bipartisan coalition calling for state leaders to take action on guns, mental health

The letter was signed by more than a dozen Texas mayors, including the mayors from Houston and Sugar Land.

TEXAS, USA — More than a dozen Texas mayors from both political parties are calling on Gov. Greg Abbott and other state leaders to take immediate action on guns and mental health to prevent the next mass shooting.

The mayors, which include both the Houston and Sugar Land mayors, want Abbott to call a special session to address:

  • Universal background checks for gun purchases
  • Increase in age requirement to purchase assault weapons in Texas
  • Red Flag laws to identify threats before shootings happen
  • Mental health support funding
  • Training for resource school safety officers

"Protecting the 2nd Amendment means passing responsible policies that a wide majority of law-abiding gun owners support," the letter signed by 13 Texas mayors said. "We cannot stand idly by while more of our fellow Texans, often our children and law enforcement officers, are laid to rest as the result of another preventable shooting."

RELATED: Why Texas Governor Greg Abbott is ignoring calls for special session on gun control

The group of mayors said these reforms would have prevented the mass shooting in El Paso and Uvalde, specifically by stopping the shooters from obtaining their weapons. 

The mayors also said significant investments in mental health would stop law enforcement from handling complex situations. 

"The lack of statewide access for mental health services has caused our first responders, especially our police, to all too often to be the only response to a person in crisis," the letter said. 

In addition to the Houston and Sugar Land mayor. signing the letter, signatures were also received by the Austin, San Antonio and Forth Worth mayors.

Click here to read the letter in its entirety.   

Six days after the Uvalde mass shooting, Texas Democrats urged Abbott to call a special session to put in place gun control legislation. 

RELATED: Texas Senate Democrats ask Gov. Abbott to call special session to address gun laws

"I’m angry at what happened here. I’m angry at the responses that happened here. I’m angry in the fact that we might have saved a life or two had we’d gotten in there a little earlier. I’m angry about a lot," said Texas Sen. Roland Gutierrez.

But some Republicans, like Congressman Troy Nehls, aren't convinced more gun control is the answer.

“If you think the felons out there and the bad hombres out there, the ones that mean harm to their fellow Americans, and other people, if you think they’re going to abide by your rules and your laws forget it. They’re not going to happen," said Nehls.

Gov. Abbott is the only person able to call the special session, although, in a Republican-controlled legislature, the proposals could prove difficult to get done.

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