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Houston’s Commission Against Gun Violence Sends Recommendations To Lawmakers

The latest recommendations focus on state-level changes.

Members of the Mayor’s Commission Against Gun Violence stand for a photo after releasing recommendations for the 2019 Texas legislature.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott named school safety a top priority for the 2019 legislative session, and now the city of Houston is weighing in with its ideas.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner started the Mayor’s Commission Against Gun Violence following the shootings at Santa Fe High School near Houston and Stoneman Douglas High School High School in Parkland, Florida. The Commission has now released their recommendations for state lawmakers.

Included in those recommendations are:

  • Updating school building codes to include doors that lock from the inside without a key, classrooms and administrative offices without glass or transparent walls, fully functional and regularly tested announcement systems, security video of entrances and hallways accessible by law enforcement, and a medical kit designed for active shooter situations.
  • Requiring background checks for sales at gun shows.
  • Banning 3D printed firearms.
  • Establishing a “red flag law” allowing law enforcement to temporarily prevent access to weapons for people experiencing a crisis.

The Commission also recommended that the Texas Education Agency mandate active shooter training and adopt standardized response measures, so that law enforcement and schools use the same vocabulary in an emergency. Standardizing language would “clear any confusion and help in lowering response times of the students and faculty on campus,” according to the Commission.

Additionally, the Commission called for increasing funding to school threat assessment teams and mental health counselors, along with funding to mental health, suicide prevention and trauma-informed training for educators.

Mayor Turner said he’s charged his government affairs office with bringing the recommendations to lawmakers and state officials in Austin.

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Davis Land

Davis Land

Senior Producer

Davis Land is a senior producer at Houston Public Media. He cut his teeth at Atlantic Public Media in Woods Hole, MA and at WBUR in Boston. His work has appeared on various public radio programs and podcasts including Texas Standard, Here and Now, and Marketplace. Davis is a graduate...

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