Jun 10, 2022 - News

Texas Democratic representatives vote for red flag bill

U.S. House Rep. Colin Allred
Rep. Colin Allred, from Dallas. Photo: Emil Lippe/Getty Images

The U.S. House on Thursday approved a red flag bill that would allow families and law enforcement to petition a court to limit gun access for people who might be dangerous.

Driving the news: The vote comes in the wake of several mass shootings, including the school shooting in Uvalde.

Zoom in: Texans voted along party lines, with every Democratic representative voting in favor and every Republican voting against.

How it works: If it becomes law, authorities, relatives and members of a person's household can petition a federal court to request a protective order prohibiting someone believed to be a threat to themself or others from buying or possessing firearms.

  • "Sometimes those closest to an individual are the best to point out if they are a danger to themselves or to others, and this federal law builds on the framework already established in states across the country," Rep. Colin Allred, of Dallas, said in a statement.
  • Now, 19 states and D.C. have some version of a red flag law, but not Texas.

Yes, but: The red flag bill is unlikely to pass the Senate.

  • Texas Sen. John Cornyn is leading bipartisan discussions in that chamber. He said he's focused on keeping guns out of the hands of young people who may have juvenile records, per the DMN.

Meanwhile, state lawmakers launched an investigation into the Uvalde shooting. The goal is to give "answers and solutions" for preventing future mass shootings, per the Texas Tribune.

  • Gov. Greg Abbott sent a letter to the Texas Education Agency commissioner asking the agency to create a chief of school safety position.

The latest: The Uvalde gunman had a "hellfire" trigger on his semiautomatic AR-15-style rifle, allowing it to be fired like an automatic, per a New York Times review of law enforcement documents and video.

  • Police had more firepower than previously known and the school district police chief addressed the gunman by name through classroom doors during the assault, per the Times.

Catch up fast: Two of the children killed in the school texted each other, "I love you," every night before bed. They were buried next to each other this week, per ABC News.

  • Matthew McConaughey advocated for "responsible gun ownership" and red flag laws during a visit to the White House this week. During the briefing, McConaughey told stories about the children who were killed in Uvalde, his hometown.
  • Uvalde school district police chief Pete Arredondo has remained silent since his widely condemned decision to hold back officers during the massacre. Arredondo was recently sworn in as a city council member and did not attend this week's meeting, the first since the mass shooting, per KENS.
  • The shooting began 1 hour and 17 minutes before officers entered the classroom. The grandfather of 10-year-old Xavier Lopez, who died on the way to the hospital, said the boy "could have been saved," per the NYT.

What they're saying: Fourth-grader Miah Cerrillo, who survived the school shooting, says she no longer feels safe in school. She testified by video before a House committee this week and detailed how the gunman got into her classroom.

  • "[He] told my teacher good night and shot her in the head," she said.
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