Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued eight executive orders in response to massive shootings in El Paso and Odessa-Midland that occurred within weeks of each other, his Office announced Thursday.
“Texas must achieve several goals to better protect our communities and our residents from mass shootings,” Abbott said in a statement.
The politician said he will continue to work expeditiously with the legislature to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals, “while protecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Texans,” he said.
Among the eight executive orders, it was indicated that the Texas Department of Public Safety will develop standardized admission questions that can be used by all law enforcement agencies.
The goal is to truthfully identify if a person who communicates with authorities has information that should be reported to the Texas Suspicious Activity Reporting Network.
Within 30 days, the Department of Public Safety will develop clear guidance, based on the appropriate legal standard, on when and how law enforcement agencies should file suspicious activity reports.
On the other hand, the Texas Law Enforcement Commission will facilitate training to educate all law enforcement officers on the standards that will be developed pursuant to the first and second orders.
In addition, the Department of Public Safety will create an initiative to increase public awareness and understanding of how law enforcement agencies use suspicious activity reports to identify potential mass shooters or terrorist threats.
This is intended to make the general public – friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and classmates – more prepared to report information about potential gunmen.
The Department of Public Safety will also work with the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board on ways to better inform schools and families about the importance of detecting suspicious activity.
One of the Texas Governor’s actions mentions that law enforcement will work with local law enforcement, as well as mental health professionals and school districts.
One of the objectives of the Governor’s Office is to conduct comprehensive analyses of social networks to identify potential threats from shooters.
The shooting in El Paso on August 3, which left 22 dead in one of its department stores, occurred hours before another in a popular entertainment area in the town of Dayton, Ohio, which resulted in nine dead.
Then, on August 31, seven people were killed and 25 injured in Odessa, Texas, in another shooting, the perpetrator of which was killed by police.
These attacks have revitalized the debate over the need to tighten gun control in the United States, where Congress has not passed a law significantly limiting gun ownership for more than two decades, in part due to the influence of the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA).