Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen appointed 13 state representatives to this committee in response to recent shootings in El Paso and the Midland and Odessa area. This group is charged with studying and recommending effective solutions to prevent and reduce violent incidents, according to a Sept. 4 news release from Bonnen’s office.
“Words alone will not deliver the bold solutions Texas needs in order to defeat the violence that has become far too commonplace in our state,” Bonnen said in the news release. “The Texas House is putting words into action by forming this committee, and it will be well-served by the range of backgrounds, skill sets, and expertise these particular members provide.”
The House committee will work alongside a Senate Select Committee and Gov. Greg Abbott's Domestic Terrorism Task Force, Capriglione said in an email.
“I am deeply saddened and upset at the senseless acts of violence that continue to occur in our country and our state,” Capriglione said. “We must come together to heal and to eradicate the root causes of mass violence and domestic terrorism … I will be taking this new role with utmost seriousness, and I look forward to having a thoughtful, deliberate conversation on actionable items that can pass and/or be implemented. My goal is to listen, learn, and then lead on making Texas safer while maintaining all our Constitutionally protected rights.”
Members are tasked with examining and identifying challenges and methods to improve public safety. This includes evaluating “options for strengthening enforcement measures for current laws that prevent the transfer of firearms to felons and other persons prohibited by current law from possessing firearms” and examining “the role of digital media and technology in threat detection, assessment, reporting, and prevention, including the collaboration between digital media and law enforcement,” according to the news release.
The committee is required to submit a preliminary assessment to Bonnen within 90 days of its creation and submit a subsequent final report, according to the news release. Hearings will be scheduled throughout the state to gather public testimony.