Texas state lawmakers on Monday moved forward with a gun control bill in a surprise move that came just hours after families of mass shooting victims had begged them to take action in the wake of the rampage Saturday at a mall in Allen that left eight dead.
State House members passed out of committee on Monday to raise the legal age to purchase an assault-style weapon to 21, as well as prevent handgun sales to persons who are intoxicated or have a protection order against them.
In an 8-5 vote, two Republicans joined all Democrats on the committee to endorse the bill. Families from Uvalde, who had fought hard for the law, erupted in applause following the vote.
The legislation could not be pushed out of committee for a floor vote before the legislative session ended on May 29.
Families from Uvalde and Sutherland Springs — the sites of a devastating church shooting in 2017 — begged senators to bring the proposal to the floor before the vote on Monday.
, whose child Uziyah died in Uvalde, said she has come to the Legislature almost every Tuesday and Thursday since the session began in January. She directly addressed Republican state Rep. Ryan Guillen, who is the chair of the select committee on community safety.
“I don’t come here and ask you to bring my child back,” Cross said. “So, one small and very simple act — can we just raise the age limit to purchase assault-style weapons from 18 to 21?”