State Watch

Abbott calls for special legislative committees after Uvalde school shooting

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has called for special legislative committees to be formed in the wake of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. 

In a letter sent on Wednesday, Abbott requested that both Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) and the state’s House Speaker Dade Phelan (R) each convene a special legislative committee to address the shooting. 

Abbott said the new committees should prepare recommendations on steps that could be taken to prevent mass shootings from happening at schools in the future in areas such as mental health, school safety, social media, police training and firearm safety. The governor did not include gun control in the listed areas.

Abbott also wrote that state and federal authorities will continue to investigate the massacre.

“As Texans mourn the tragedy that occurred at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde last week, we as a State must reassess the twin issues of school safety and mass violence,” Abbott wrote in his letter. 

“As leaders, we must come together at this time to provide solutions to protect all Texans. Accordingly, I hereby request that each of you convene a special legislative committee. I look forward to working with you both on this important mission to make Texas safer, and I stand ready to provide any and all support.”

This comes after the Justice Department announced on Sunday that it plans to launch a review of law enforcement’s response to the school shooting, as officials gave conflicting reports of how local and federal authorities initially handled the situation. 

Local authorities have faced intense scrutiny from the media, public and parents in the wake of the last week’s massacre, which resulted in the deaths of 19 schoolchildren and two teachers.

Authorities called the decision for law enforcement to wait for an hour after the shooting began to confront the gunmen a “wrong” decision. 

“From the benefit of hindsight, where I’m sitting now, of course it was not the right decision. It was the wrong decision. There’s no excuse for that,” Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw said at a news conference on Friday. 

Updated at 4:18 p.m.

Tags Dade Phelan Dan Patrick Dan Patrick Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation Greg Abbott Greg Abbott Greg Abbott Mass shootings in the United States Texas Texas school shooting Texas school shooting Uvalde Uvalde shooting

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