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Republican lawmaker shows little appetite to change gun laws in Texas

"He was in that classroom for 50 minutes at least. The firearm is really irrelevant," state Rep. Matt Shaheen told Inside Texas Politics.

PLANO, Texas — State Rep. Matt Shaheen says he does not think a special session is necessary following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde that left 19 students and two teachers dead.

And while the Republican from Plano says he’ll “talk to anybody about any idea” as it relates to the state’s gun laws, he doesn’t think banning certain types of guns is the answer.

“After 9/11, it’s not like we banned certain types of planes,” Shaheen said on Inside Texas Politics. “We made our airports safer. We made our planes safer. We looked at the individuals that were flying. We had no fly lists.”

Shaheen says Gov. Greg Abbott is leading on the issue and has already called for the formation of special legislative committees to respond to the shooting, tasking lawmakers with examining school safety, firearm safety, police training, mental health and social media.

And he thinks the investigation into what went wrong in Uvalde needs to be completed so that information can be taken into account when it comes to possible policy changes.

Watch the segment below:

“Once we get that information, we’ll be able to make some more relevant decisions as policymakers,” said the lawmaker.

The special legislative committees won’t enact policy. All lawmakers can do absent a special session is come up with legislative proposals. They won’t return to Austin for the next legislative session until January 2023.

But Shaheen stresses that action is being taken right now, including a review of the law enforcement response and schools across the state are taking a close look at their emergency operations plans.

“The governor has called for an audit of those as well. So look, there’s a lot of activity, a lot of work that’s being done right now. Nobody’s waiting,” the Republican said.

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