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Texas legislators have loosened gun laws in recent years

A lot of people are asking right now: How can we stop things like this from happening? What needs to be done?

TEXAS, USA — While these mass shootings continue to affect us in the U.S. and especially in Texas. It's important to know what our elected officials have done or not done to try to stop these situations from happening. 

The state of Texas has had eight mass shootings in the past 13 years, with Uvalde being the deadliest school shooting ever in the Lone Star State.

"Evil swept across Uvalde yesterday," Gov. Abbott said. "Anyone who shoots his grandmother in the face has to have evil in his heart. But it is far more evil for someone to gun down little kids."

In the last two legislative sessions, Texas legislators have loosened gun laws, most notably by passing permitless carry last year, which allows anyone 21 years or older to carry a handgun in public without the need for a permit or training. All six of the legislators in the Brazos Valley for both the Texas House and Senate voted yes on the bill.

"You want a solution, have universal background checks," said Beto O'Rourke. O'Rourke is running against Governor Abbott on the Democratic ticket. "We don't have them. You want a solution? Red Flag laws, or extreme risk protection orders which stop a shooting before it happens. You want a solution? Safe Storage laws. Those are four solutions that have been brought up by the people of Texas. Each one of those has broad bipartisan support if we had a governor who cared more about the people of Texas than he does his own political career or NRA."

While some Democrats like O'Rourke have asked for more restrictive gun laws. local Congressman Pete Sessions said we as a community need to do more to stop these types of tragedies.

"It is up to us as parents, educators, and adults to focus our activities on our children and try to lower their level of anxiety and to work for a safer environment," Sessions said.

On the federal level, some potential gun laws wouldn't be able to be enforced because Texas is considered a 'Second Amendment Sanctuary State'. This means Texans have signed into law with help from all six of the legislators in the Brazos Valley to protect Texans from new federal gun control regulations.

"I see nothing as a member of Congress that I have seen the Texas Legislature do that would place our community and people in harm," Sessions said. "Matter of fact, I see the reverse."

The State of Texas has also removed the cap on armed school marshals as well as recommended outlines for school safety plans. It is still not known what Texas lawmakers will do in response to this latest tragedy. A few lawmakers have said that they want to wait before making any decisions.

RELATED: LIVE UPDATES: Latest in Uvalde elementary school attack; 19 children, 2 adults killed

RELATED: Uvalde school mass shooting: What we know about the victims

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