Governor Abbott releases his Texas Safety Action Report to cut down on gun violence

AUSTIN, TX (BY: ADELA UCHIDA, CBS AUSTIN) -- Governor Greg Abbott released a list of actions and recommendations Thursday to make Texans safer from the threat of mass shootings -- six of them executive actions, that includes more training for law enforcement, developing domestic violence high risk teams and creating a public campaign around "avoid, deny, defend" -- and fourteen are legislative recommendations, like expediting reporting convictions to DPS for the background check database.

Michael Cargill owns Central Texas Gun Works. "We need to be very cautious with doing anything with our background check system as far as doing a universal background check," he said.

He supports the governor, but when it comes to the actions taken since the mass shootings in El Paso and Odessa, Cargill is slow to fully support the governor's recommendations. "I just want to make sure we follow due process, that we're not violating anyone's constitutional rights," he said. "There's a lot of things we need to you know let the legislative body decide, and let's vet this stuff before we implement anything."

Those recommendations include banning straw purchases of guns -- that's when someone buys a gun for someone who legally cannot -- and requiring stolen guns be reported to the sheriff within ten days. There's nothing about making that information public.

It was all discussed at the Texas safety commission meeting three weeks ago. Ed Scrugss with Texas Gun Sense had a seat at that table. "It's a missed opportunity. I think there are some good recommendations in there," he said Thursday. But he expected a recommendation to close background check loopholes -- which is how the gunman in Odessa got his weapon. "Not seeing the closing of background check loopholes is tremendously disappointing," Scruggs said.

But Cargill says there's no rush. "That's why we need to let the legislative body take a look at this stuff and let's think about this."

A summary of the Texas Safety Action Report can be found below.

Additional Executive Actions

Strengthen Domestic Violence High Risk Teams across the state.

Expand law enforcement training offered through the Advanced Law
Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center at Texas State University, and develop a public awareness campaign for the “Avoid, Deny, Defend” program.

Refresh training for all licensed peace officers on the procedures and criteria for “emergency detention”.

Educate physicians and behavioral health professionals about the law concerning disclosure of confidential information to law enforcement.
DPS should coordinate with fusion centers across the state to promote continuous improvement and accountability.

Accelerate the development and implementation of the DPS safe firearm storage campaign, supported by the recent $1 million appropriation.

Firearm Safety

The Legislature should consider expediting the reporting of criminal convictions to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The Legislature should consider prohibiting straw purchases of firearms under state law. A primary goal is to keep guns out of the hands of criminals while protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.

The Legislature should consider laws that crack down on criminals who try to illegally buy or possess guns.

The Legislature should consider requiring courts to inform convicted criminals, both orally and in writing, that they may no longer possess firearms.

The Legislature should consider stiffer consequences for criminals convicted of violent offenses.

The Legislature could consider requiring that any stolen firearms be reported to the county sheriff within 10 days of when the owner becomes aware of the theft.

The Legislature should consider ways to make it easy, affordable, and beneficial for a private seller of firearms to voluntarily use background checks when selling firearms to strangers.

The Legislature should consider prohibiting juvenile offenders convicted of certain violent crimes from legally purchasing firearms.

The Legislature should spur cooperation to encourage social media companies to report suspicious activity to law enforcement.

The Legislature should consider implementing and funding a Texas program, similar to federal initiatives, which uses a multi-pronged strategy of policing and prosecution, agency integration, and identification of violent crime hot spots. The focus would be on criminals with guns, not law-abiding Texans.

The Legislature should consider a law that works in conjunction with the proposed federal “Protecting Communities and Preserving the Second Amendment Act” of 2019.

Additional Strategies

The Legislature should work with the TEA to develop strategies to improve parental engagement in schools.

When updating the Health TEKS, the State Board of Education (SBOE) should emphasize student mental health issues, including depression, social media immersion, and drug abuse.

The Legislature should consider amending state law to ensure schools are notified when former students are arrested.