In response to the recent school shooting at Santa Fe High School, Gov. Greg Abbott announced this morning a slew of proposals designed to increase safety in Texas schools.
In a press conference at Dallas ISD, Abbott laid out his proposals, including increasing the amount of armed guards present on school campuses, strengthening school entrances with metal detectors, as well as making mental health services more accessible to students.
Abbott also suggested installing active shooter alarm systems in schools, as well as providing more active shooter training for students and teachers.
While Abbott stated that his plan would come with an initial $120 million of funding, in large part from federal grants that can be implemented before classes resume after the summer, the legislature would need to appropriate any additional funds for additional strategies.
Abbott left the door open for a special session, noting that while special sessions are not “debating sessions,” if there is consensus on some proposals, he is open to calling the legislature back.
“I doubt there has been a governor with a more pro-gun record than myself,” Abbott iterated, before telling attendees his plan to keep guns safely out of the hands of criminals.
Abbott’s plan, which requires legislative action, would mandate lost guns to be reported immediately. He also implored the legislature to focus on mental health.
“The strategy that I most strongly encourage the Legislature to consider is greater investment in mental health, especially in crisis intervention counselors,” said Abbott.
He also called for the legislature to establish “mental health protective orders,” which would remove guns from the homes of those with mental health problems “after due process for a limited time.”
In addition to funding and legislative action, Abbott said he would work personally to encourage safe gun storage but stated he would not promote the mandatory purchase of gun locks or the passage of storage regulations.
Abbott’s plan comes just one week after the governor held several roundtable discussions on school safety, in which various Republican and Democrat lawmakers met with police, educators, and families of school shooting victims to attempt to come up with solutions in the wake of the Santa Fe shooting.
Abbott was joined at his press conference by several lawmakers from the Dallas area, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath.