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Gov. Greg Abbott on Allen mall shooting: Mental health is 'long-term solution' to gun violence

Abbott told Fox News that "people want a quick solution." But he said focusing on mental health is necessary.

ALLEN, Texas — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Sunday morning that he'll be traveling to Allen later in the day, in the wake of the mass shooting that killed eight victims at the Allen Premium Outlets mall Saturday afternoon. 

Abbott confirmed the Allen visit in an interview on Fox News Sunday with Shannon Bream, in which the governor emphasized mental health as the "long-term solution" for gun violence in America.

"People want a quick solution," Abbott told Bream. "The long-term solution here is to address the mental health issue."

Abbott's mental health talking point was in response to Bream sharing Fox News poll results from April that showed an overwhelming majority of respondents - all above 80% - supported proposals to reduce gun violence, such as background checks for guns,  enforcing existing laws for guns, raising the legal age to buy guns to 21, and requiring mental health checks.

Abbott told Bream that there has been an increase in shootings "in both red states and blue states" that have varying levels of gun control laws.

"One thing that we can observe very easily is that there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of anger and violence that is taking place in America," Abbott said. "And what Texas is doing in a big-time way is we are working to address that anger and violence by going to its root cause, which is addressing mental health problems behind it."

Abbott called the Allen shooting "just devastating."

"Texans are hurting today," Abbott told Bream. "The people who are hurting the most are the families of the victims, families who lost a loved one. Our main priority right now is to help and support those families and the Allen community."

Authorities have not confirmed much information about the shooter and what type of weapon he used. They also have not released his name, though sources told WFAA that FBI agents were at his home in northeast Dallas on Saturday night.

More coverage of the Allen outlet mall shooting:

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