Austin City Council adds gun safety regulations to legislative agenda

The Austin City Council's legislative agenda is basically a list of issues they fight for outside of City Hall.  Council approved on consent Thursday morning adding several modern gun safety regulations to that agenda.

"Because of the rules in Texas, we have to first start with advocating at the state and federal level for some additional gun control legislation that seemed to be a first step in this process," said District 10 City Council Member Alison Alter.

It's an issue that's been weighing on Council Member Alter who brought forth the resolution.

"As a mother, I'm tired of sending my thoughts and prayers to victims of gun violence when I know there are steps we can take now to address this epidemic," she said.  

The resolution takes a stance against bump stocks -- the device used in the Las Vegas massacre that uses the gun's recoil to help fire rounds more rapidly.

"It allows us to advocate to prevent bump stocks from being sold, it allows us to advocate not to de-regulate gun silencers and it allows us to try to change some loopholes that allow domestic abusers to have access to guns," Alter said.  

State Rep Gina Hinojosa is proud to have Austin as an ally.

"This is a lonely fight at the Capitol unfortunately and it is so helpful to know that our city is inclined to stand behind us as we take on this fight," Hinojosa said.  

Gun advocate Michael Cargill is not in support of a ban on bump stocks.

"No absolutely not, I don't support banning any type of plastic.  It's banning a way of shooting," Cargill said.  "Instead of the City of Austin focusing on social issues and being social justice warriors, they need to focus their attention on traffic in the City of Austin.  Those are the things that we elected our city officials to deal with," Cargill said.

A hot topic at the press conference ahead of Thursday's vote -- a recent investigative piece by "Texas Standard" and "Reveal" that found many of the state's largest law enforcement agencies sell their used guns back to the community.  Texas Standard says Austin Police have sold more than 1,100.  Council Member Alter is hoping to get to the bottom of that.

"I've only had an initial conversation with Chief Manley and I intend to have further conversations with APD to understand both what they're doing, if they're doing soemthing that we need to change policy on and why they we're doing it in the first place if they were," Alter said.   

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