Texas House holds hearing on dozens of gun safety bills

Most of those who came to the House Select Committee on Community Safety on April 18 were there to support more than a dozen gun control bills on the agenda.

People like Mike Pruner believe the time is right to make major changes to the law.

"I think most people do agree that universal background checks would help. I think that most people do agree that extreme risk protection orders would help. And I think there's a lot of people who agree that civilians don't need to be carrying a weapon that is designed to massacre people," said Pruner.

The two sides in the gun debate still remain divided. The hearing for HB 1138, which would expand the charge for reckless discharge of a firearm, is an example. Teresa Biel, who told the committee she is a pharmacist, supports the bill.

"I could lose my license if I do something reckless, others should be held accountable in other areas such as gun safety," said Biel.

HB 1138 was drafted to address people who fire guns into the air to celebrate holidays.

"What worries me about the Bill is that there is no definition about what is reckless," said Mike Belsick.

Belsick came to the Texas Capitol to speak out against legislation restricting access to firearms.

"It solves nothing. It gives you a false sense. Oh, I’ve done something. No, you haven't. There is a bill that's going to delay the purchase of a gun. All you've done is delay it. Someone that wants it is still going to get it. So what have you solved? I am all for solutions that are workable that will actually make a difference to protect innocent lives," said Belsick.

State Senator Roland Gutierrez was happy to see tough issues were being heard in the House hearing. He noted legislation he supports, like age limits and tighter gun show rules, have not moved in the Upper Chamber.

"We're not trying to up end the apple cart. We're just trying to fix things. It's a damn shame that the Republicans in the Senate don't want to fix things. I'm encouraged, at least by what's happening in the House," said State Sen. Roland Gutierrez (D) San Antonio.

It’s unclear how many of the gun bills from the Hearing will actually move to the full House.

"The irony here is that everyone testifying for and against these various bills, we all want the same thing. We want these shootings to stop. However, there's a fundamental difference in how we can achieve that, and we just fundamentally disagree that more legislation, more regulation is the answer," said C.J Grisham with Open Carry Texas.

Parents who lost children in the Uvalde school shooting, like Brett Cross, say they will not be satisfied with just having a Hearing.

"I think that we make enough noise that we're not going to be silent. So we're going to have this hearing, and then we'll be back every week making sure it gets through calendar so that it can be voted on, Even if it gets voted down in on the House floor, we will know who voted it down. We will know who voted to put guns and money above children, and then we will vote them out," said Cross.

Bills limiting access to guns and ammunition are not expected to move forward. Things like requiring safe storage of firearms, background checks and tougher criminal penalties for gun crimes, have traction.