Students Share Their Views on Firearm Laws in the Texas Legislature



Recently, gun safety advocates have shown support for passing firearm restriction laws in the Texas Legislature.

In the past several years, Texas has seen several mass shootings involving AR-15 and Ak-47-style rifles. Some of the most recent extreme mass shootings are the Uvalde school shooting in May 2022, and the El Paso shooting in August 2019. Over the past few months, gun safety advocates have shown support for passing firearm restriction laws in the Texas Legislature, but many Republican lawmakers are opposed. 

Governor Greg Abbott has stated in previous interviews that his solution is not to restrict firearms but rather to focus on mental health. Since Abbott has taken office, he has signed several bills easing access to guns. In September 2021, he signed HB 1927, allowing open carry of handguns without a permit. Students who were asked about Abbott’s solution said more mental health care could help, but more gun restrictions would be more beneficial.

“Mental health is important and should be part of priorities,” Varsha Sivasubramanian ‘26 said. “But it doesn’t solve the issues related to guns. In my opinion, there should be actual changes to the laws themselves instead of finding more excuses to avoid editing the flaws at the root of the problem. If people can access guns this easily, then they will, regardless of mental health resources.”

In response to the idea of increasing the minimum age for buying assault-style rifles, particularly after the Uvalde shooting when parents pushed for an increase of three years in the minimum age for buying a weapon, Abbott dismissed the idea, stating that it would violate the Constitution.

“I think anyone could make a successful argument that raising gun ownership restrictions could be deemed unconstitutional,” Noah Revelett ‘26 said. “However, the constitution does not account for the 21st century and all the effects of modern life, like poor mental health and a variety of other factors that can cause people to act out of character.”

Schools are particularly prone to being targets for mass shootings. Psychologists speculate that school shootings have deeper issues than mental health and gun control. A range of reasons may be behind their actions, including wanting revenge, having been a victim of abuse, and having been bullied as a child. However, there is no definitive answer to why school shootings occur.  In order to ensure students’ safety at school, many people, especially teachers, would like to see tighter laws around guns.

“I feel like the threat of a shooting is something that’s always at the back of people’s minds these days,” Mayla Montgomery ‘26 said. “Especially following the threats last September, where I did not come to school, I didn’t feel safe for a little while. And I think it’s terrible that teachers and students need to be thinking about and communicating things like the best possible exit, or what to do in case something were to happen. That isn’t something anyone should have to deal with, anytime, ever.”