'It's going to be very difficult': More gun reform bills introduced in Austin

Texas State Capitol
Posted at 3:20 PM, Mar 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-08 23:05:35-05

AUSTIN, Texas — More legislation aimed at firearm and ammunition restrictions is being introduced at the State Capitol this week.

State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, D-San Antonio, embraced families from the Uvalde school massacre as he pushed for more legislation, specifically SB 1737, which would prohibit “expanding” bullets.

“The minute of the point of impact on your body, that bullet expand on itself. It begins to tear up flesh and your insides like you can’t imagine," he said at a Tuesday afternoon press conference. "I’ve seen what it’s done, I’ve seen what it can do. Police on those days saw what it can do.”

Gutierrez has already introduced a handful of gun reform bills covering everything from raising the minimum age to buy certain firearms to 21, to creating an ammo database for large purchases, to bills focusing on school safety and police response.

Professor Andi Ramon, who teaches government and politics and both McLennan Community College and Baylor, tells 25 News she isn’t sure any meaningful gun legislation will become law in the heavily controlled Republican congress.

“I think reform will be on mental health side […] having the ability to go beyond and get that majority that’s required is going to be very difficult,” she said. “There’s been barriers. I don’t know if this gun legislation will be successful.”

Even if any of the bills make it out of committee, and then passed both the house and senate, it’s unclear what Gov. Abbott would sign into law. He previously indicated concerns with the legality of taking steps like raising the minimum age for certain firearm purchases.

In a sign of bipartisanship, the senate is pushing through a bill aimed at closing a loophole that will now require teen, mental health hospitalizations be reported to the federal background check system.