AUSTIN, Texas — As State Sen. Roland Gutierrez returns to Austin for his second term in the Texas Senate, his mission is as focused as ever: helping families in Uvalde continue to recover from the massacre at Robb Elementary.
And reforming Texas’ gun laws will be his number one priority during the first legislative session since the tragedy.
“Not one parent in Uvalde is asking for anybody’s guns to be taken away. They’re asking for a small law change to not allow an 18-year-old to have access to a militarized weapon until they’re 21. It’s common sense,” the San Antonio Democrat told us on Inside Texas Politics.
Gutierrez calls the moment a “values check” for lawmakers.
And with a record $32.7 billion budget surplus, any legislative initiative would, in theory, have funding to back it.
While the issue has long been a non-starter among Republicans in Austin, the Senator says he has talked privately with some of his GOP colleagues and there is some interest.
If collaboration is hard to come by, he says he still has a plan.
“I’ll be adding my legislation as amendments to any one of their bills,” Gutierrez said.
Ultimately, the Democrat says he just wants any legislation to come up for a vote.
State Rep. Craig Goldman, a Fort Worth Republican, told us he doesn’t know if Texas conservatives would consider raising the minimum age.
And any gun reform will continue to prove difficult.
“I just don’t know if we have the votes for it to be frank and honest with you,” Goldman told us.