Abbott invited representatives from the Texas State Rifle
Association, which says it protects the lawful use of firearms,
and Texas Gun Sense, which says it wants reforms to protect the
public, to join him in state capital Austin, according to
various media outlets.
A group of experts are also expected to take part in the
discussions, which will be second of three roundtables that the
governor said would focus on mental health issues and the causes
of gun violence.
Abbott - a Republican and staunch gun rights supporter - has
said that any changes to state laws would "protect Second
Amendment rights" - part of the U.S. Constitution that enshrines
the right to bear arms.
Teenager Dimitrios Pagourtzis has been accused of killing eight
students and two teachers during a rampage at Santa Fe High
School on Friday - the fourth deadly school shooting in the
United States this year.
At the first meeting on Tuesday, participants proposed expanding
school safety training programs, bolstering threat assessment
systems and expanding a pilot program designed to screen for
students who might be a threat to themselves or others.
Abbot said he wanted those ideas enacted quickly.
Gun rights proponents say the Second Amendment prohibits
regulations on gun ownership and that enforcement of existing
laws should be sufficient to stop violent incidents like the one
in Santa Fe.
Gun control groups point to the regular toll of shootings across
the United States as evidence that more needs to be done to rein
in the proliferation of weapons.
In contrast to Florida, where the killing of 17 teens and
educators in February sparked a youth-led movement calling for
new restrictions on gun ownership, the Texas tragedy saw elected
officials and survivors alike voicing support for gun rights.
(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Andrew Heavens)
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