Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called for action on Friday in the wake of a deadly school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas.
“We need to do more than just pray for the victims and their families,” said Abbott, a Republican, during a news conference in response to the shooting. “It’s time in Texas that we take action to step up and make sure this tragedy is never repeated ever again in the history of the state of Texas.”
Abbott said he plans to convene “roundtable discussions” next week that will bring together lawmakers and community members with a wide array of perspectives.
“Beginning immediately, I’m going to be working with members of the Texas Legislature but also members of our communities across the entire state of Texas, to begin with roundtable discussions beginning next week where we will assemble all stakeholders to begin to work immediately on swift solutions to prevent tragedies like this from ever happening again,” Abbott said.
The governor said he wants input from parents, students, teachers and gun rights supporters. Later, Abbott added he hopes there will be lawmakers from the Texas Senate and the Texas House of Representatives involved in the talks, and said it would be “great to have some people who were victims of Sutherland Springs” in the discussions, referring to the shooting last November at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
Abbott suggested he hopes the discussions will lead to legislation: “We want to hear from everybody who has an interest in what has happened today, so we can work together on putting together laws that will protect Second Amendment rights but at the same time ensure that our communities and especially our schools are safer places.”
Pressed for specifics on legislation, Abbott said he recently put together a policy paper on gun safety, which included proposals to “keep guns out of the hands of those who pose an immediate danger to others” and to provide “more resources to schools, to have safety personnel that are needed to respond.” He added, “They include resources to address the mental health issues that are seemingly behind so many of these shootings.”
Lawmakers across the country condemned the shooting on Friday. President Donald Trump said in remarks from the White House that mass shootings have been “going on too long in our country.”
Ten people were killed in the shooting Friday morning at Santa Fe High School and another 10 were wounded, Abbott said during his news conference.
The governor called it “the worst disaster ever to strike this community.”
CNN’s Jeremy Diamond and Sophie Tatum contributed to this report.