US /

Texas GOP Puts Stop to Gun Control Measure

Measure neared House vote before gun rights groups went to work
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 10, 2023 6:15 PM CDT
Gun Control Bill Flickers Out in Texas
Family members of the victims of the Uvalde shootings react after a Texas House committee voted to take up a bill to limit the age for purchasing AR-style weapons in the full House in Austin on Monday.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Rare momentum in the Texas Capitol for a tougher gun law flickered out Wednesday after Republicans stalled a bill that would raise the purchase age for AR-style rifles, virtually ensuring the GOP-controlled Legislature will in no major way restrict gun access after more mass shootings. The legislation—always a longshot—now has little chance of coming back after unexpectedly coming within reach of a full vote in the state House with the help of two Republicans, which sent Texas' powerful gun lobby scrambling into action, the AP reports. The unusual forward progress in Texas of a proposed gun restriction jolted the Capitol on Monday, two days after a gunman in Allen opened fire at an outdoor shopping mall with an AR-style rifle, killing eight people.

But late Tuesday night, House Republicans let a deadline lapse that stops the bill from going any further. "Uvalde families didn't fail. Texas politicians did," tweeted Kimberly Mata Rubio, whose 10-year-old daughter Lexi was among the 19 children and two teachers killed by a gunman at Robb Elementary School nearly a year ago in Uvalde, Texas. The deadline to move the bill toward a full House vote came and went as protesters chanted outside the chamber, including Brett Cross, who had been raising his 10-year-old nephew Uziyah Garcia in Uvalde before the fourth-grader was killed in the shooting. Video on social media showed four Texas Department of Public Safety troopers escorting Cross out of the Capitol during the protest, per the AP.

Cross said troopers removed him from the Capitol for being too loud. DPS officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The failure of the bill was not unexpected: Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has long rejected calls for tighter gun laws after mass shootings in Texas. He did so again this week. Two Republicans had unexpectedly helped advance the legislation that would raise the purchase age for semiautomatic weapons from 18 to 21. For gun control advocates in Texas, it was nothing short of a milestone. But that was followed by gun rights groups—which are rarely forced to play defense in the Texas Capitol—mobilizing pushback in an effort to swiftly stamp out even a glimpse of momentum for gun control supporters.

(More Texas stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.