AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - Sutherland Springs, Santa Fe, even right here in Austin… all locations where tragedies and mass shootings have happened in the state.
With the latest being in El Paso, lawmakers are saying enough is enough. Governor Greg Abbott has now formed the Domestic Terrorism Task Force. “Today we begin a process where we look at domestic terrorism from a broader perspective. El Paso is a catalyst for me convening this task force but the reason for the task force is broader than El Paso alone,” said Abbott.
Friday was the first meeting for the group of law enforcement and political leaders. “We need to come to grips with the fact there has been an increase in frequency of mass shootings, as well as terroristic attacks,” said Abbott.
The task force laid out many possible solutions to prevent mass shootings such as curbing cyber attacks, collaborating with social media companies, and intervening with a suspect before an attack.
Also, putting stricter laws on the books for things like conspiracy. “We also talked about new laws that could provide teeth that prosecutors could use to more effectively prosecute these crimes before they are acted out,” said Abbott. But the governor also wants to make sure everyone can agree on what domestic terrorism is, and how much it differs from international terrorism.
The gun debate did not come up this first meeting...but lawmakers and activists have since brought it up, after El Paso. “What we are asking today is an outright ban on all military assault rifles. AR-15s. AK-47’s. These are weapons of mass destruction whose sole intent is to mass kill people," said Domingo Garcia, National LULAC president.
The domestic terrorism task force will convene quarterly.
Friday set the tone for what's to come, including possible legislation.