A Texas House of Representatives committee on Monday proposed a measure that would raise the minimum age for purchasing semi-automatic rifles in an unexpected shift after that nine people died in a shooting at a Dallas-area outlet mall over the weekend.
The Special Committee on Safety in the Community approved the measure at a 8-5 votes, with two Republicans supporting the Democratic bill. The measure is sponsored by MP Tracy King, who represents Uvalde, where An 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two teachers May at an elementary school.
Under the terms of the bill, the minimum age for purchasing a semi-automatic rifle with a detachable magazine and larger than .22 caliber would be raised from 18 to 21.
King and Reps. Sam Harless and Justin Holland, the two Republicans who backed the legislation, did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday night.
several states, mostly democratichave raised the minimum purchase age for semi-automatic rifles in recent years.
Monday’s vote came two days after the suspicion Protect Mauricio Garcia, 33, killed eight people, including one 3 year old boy and his parentsbefore he was killed by a police officer, authorities said.
The measure still has a strong chance of getting through the House of Representatives, where Republicans have an 86-64 advantage over Democrats. Republicans also control the Senate, 19-12, and the Governor’s Mansion.
Gov. Greg Abbott’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday night.
Abbott, who was recently criticized for his call Victims of previous shooting of ‘illegal immigrants’ said in a Fox News interview After the mall shooting, Texas focused on addressing the “root cause” by targeting mental health.
“There’s been a dramatic increase in anger and violence that’s happening in America,” Abbott said. “People want a quick fix. The long-term solution here is to address the mental health issue.”