"While state legislators are grappling with sensible safeguards and restrictions for a conceal and carry law, I think we all know that the demand for small and easily concealable handguns in the state is likely to grow," he said this week. "Now is the time to remove the most unsafe handguns from the market."

His bill would require handguns made in the U.S. to meet basic design and safety standards, and allow the ATF to classify them as "suitable for sporting purposes." Gutierrez said this would match the safety requirements that imported guns must meet in order to be sold in the United States.

"When we regulate standards for cars and cribs and a whole host of products to ensure they are safe for public consumption — how does it make sense that we do not have basic safety standards for dangerous handguns made right here in America?" Gutierrez said.