The change that Texas needs

Naydine De La Fuente, Contributor

In America, gun control has taken the spotlight as one of the most controversial topics due to the alarming rise of gun violence cases. We see it every day on the news — a continuous cycle of fear circulating through the country. Throughout the years, there have been minimal changes made to create safer gun laws, which have allowed easy access to these weapons without proper protocol being enforced. Although some argue that the right to bear arms is essential for self-defense, without the appropriate guidelines put in place, the U.S. will continue to experience mass shootings.

In the state of Texas, there has been a call for concern due to the very lax and permissive gun laws. States across the country have had their share in designing stricter and safer laws — such as Colorado enforcing background checks, Nevada passing the red flag law and Florida raising the minimum age to buy a gun to 21. However, according to the Texas Tribune, Texas has not progressed within that aspect and still appoints outdated gun laws despite the 19 mass shootings that have occurred in the state within the past six decades. Many state leaders and representatives turned a blind eye when it came to these tragic events. Still, it was not until the very disheartening mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, in 2022 that the issue of gun control came back into question. 

After the Uvalde shooting, the state legislature convened as lawmakers once again and filed multiple gun control bills. In response, President Joe Biden created and signed the first major federal gun safety legislation named the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. According to CNN, this act does not fully ban any weapons; rather it is stated to help implement and run crisis intervention and red flag programs, ban weapons from individuals who have domestic violence charges and encourage the inclusion of juvenile records in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Beforehand, many other bills involving gun reform were filed in the Texas Legislature. If passed, these bills would prevent individuals from obtaining certain weapons such as assault rifles, implement background checks to prevent individuals with mental disorders from obtaining weapons and lastly, some would raise the legal age to purchase a gun to 21. If these laws were passed sooner, tragic events like the Uvalde shooting could have been avoided. 

As of now, Texas has had more innocent people killed in mass shootings than any other state, according to The Dallas Morning News. It is important that the public understands that Texas gun laws allow legally permitted individuals 21 and older to carry handguns without a permit and that most guns — including military weapons — can be owned in Texas with only a few regulations. Texas is also said to have more licensed gun dealers than any other state and is home to approximately 6,000 gun sellers. 

With all these factors in play, it is imperative that a change be made in order to keep the residents in the state safe. Together, individuals can come together and advocate for these gun laws to finally be implemented within the state in order to create a secure and less frightening environment.