Coalition to reduce gun violence launched at state capitol

(KXAN Photo)
(KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Coalition to Reduce Gun Violence was launched at the state capitol Tuesday in response to incidents of mass shootings and the need for public safety in the state.

The host of the event, Texas Gun Sense, said there were nearly 2,800 gun deaths in Texas in 2013. “That is not acceptable and inaction is no longer an option,” said Andrea Brauer, executive director of the group. “Working together, we can respect individual rights and create safer communities. They are not in conflict.”

About 50 policymakers and representatives from law enforcement, healthcare and civic groups met at the capitol.

The coalition was formed after passage of campus carry legislation in 2015. In a press release, Texas Gun Sense says the implementation of Open Carry on January 1, 2016 will leave many businesses confused due to the lack of clarity in the bill. The group is concerned that the 900,000 concealed handgun license holders in the state will receive no guidance as the legislation goes into effect.

“With gun rights come responsibilities. Gun owners must acknowledge their responsibility to ensure all Texans are safe in their communities,” said Senator Jose Rodriguez of El Paso. Rodriguez was one of several legisaltors who tried to prevent the passage of the open carry bill into law.

The group will meet quarterly in 2016 to determine its focus and priorities. “The purpose of the coalition is to provide groups that have a stake in this issue with information and to start a meaningful dialogue about gun violence,” Brauer said.

For more information visit the Texas Gun Sense website.

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