Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recommends measures on school security

43-page report does not mention tighter gun laws

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ERIC GAY/Associated Press

Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott hosted a roundtable discussion in Austin on Thursday to address safety and security at Texas schools in the wake of the shooting at Santa Fe, Texas. The report released Wednesday drew from his impressions and insights from the roundtable.

DALLAS – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott unveiled his plan to improve school safety Wednesday morning at a news conference at a Dallas school district headquarters. Last week — just days after the shooting at Santa Fe High School, near Houston, that killed 10 — Abbott held meetings in Austin with a variety of people to help come up with a plan. Officials from school districts, gun-rights advocates, gun control groups and survivors of shootings were included in the meetings.

Abbott visited Santa Fe High School on May 29 to speak at the school’s assembly and meet with students and teachers. He also presented first responders with a Governor’s commendation.

The 43-page report of recommendations includes dozens of strategies to make schools safer, including increasing the presence of law enforcement at schools and mental health screening for students. A handful of recommendations involved gun safety, but none mentioned any major restrictions on guns.

Abbott is proposing a change to the state law that says guns can’t be made accessible to children under 17, with exceptions such as hunting or parent supervision. He’s encouraging the Legislature to consider changing the age to include 17-year-olds. The accused Santa Fe gunman was 17, and he obtained the firearms used from his father.

Abbott is also encouraging the Legislature to consider a “red flag” law that would allow family, law enforcement and others to file a petition to remove firearms from a potentially dangerous person.
He also wants a new law that would require gun owners to report a lost or stolen firearm within 10 days.

Other recommendations included training more teachers and school employees to carry handguns on campus, as well as expanding a program that identifies students at risk of committing violence and provides help for them.

He also wants to increase the number of people trained to identify signs of mental illness and increase awareness of a state system that allows people to report suspicious activity.
Abbott says funding will be aided by federal grants, though some recommendations require state lawmakers to weigh in.

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