SAN ANTONIO — Bexar County officials, law enforcement, medical professionals and community groups came together Friday to discuss strategies to reduce gun violence and demand action at the state level.
The event took place at the Bexar County Courthouse Friday, June 3, at 11 a.m. The goal is to look at ways the county can be involved in initiatives aimed at tackling gun violence in the community.
Judge Nelson Wolff opened the news conference by urging state leaders to take action on passing gun law reforms. His gave five topics he wanted to see happen including red flag laws, raising the age of purchasing assault rifles from 18 to 21, universal background checks, requiring a license to carry, and training that goes along with that license.
"If state leaders do not want to take action on gun violelnce, then call an election on these five issues and let the people’s voice be heard," Judge Wolff said.
You can see the full remarks in the video below:
This comes after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, where 19 children and two teachers were killed when a gunman entered Robb Elementary and began shooting with an AR-15 style rifle.
The incident has sparked outrage across the country and demands of action taken to reduce gun violence.
Sheriff Javier Salazar also spoke at the event, and echoed Judge Wolff's urging of state leaders to take action.
"Red flag laws are a must for starters," Sheriff Salazar said. He joined the call for Governor Abbott to call a special legislative session to address gun violence. So far, Governor Abbott has agreed only to call a special legislative committee, but there has been no word on a special session.
Sheriff Salazar also talked about responsible gun ownership and the ongoing problem of stolen guns falling into the hands of criminals.
"On a daily basis, our deputies are encountering guns that were stolen from lawful gun owners who may have gotten a bit careless with those guns," Sheriff Salazar said, urging gun owners to keep their weapons secure in their homes and cars. "Being a gun owner is a 24-hour a day endeavor."
Also speaking at the conference was Dr. Ronald Stewart, a trauma surgeon and Chair of Surgery at University Hospital and UT Health San Antonio, who was clearly affected by his experiences treating gunshot victims from the Uvalde shooting and the Sutherland Springs shooting.
"I can tell you that the injuries inflicted by the high volicity weapons such as the AR-15 is horrific. And to hear the words of the children is heartbreaking," Dr. Stewart said.
He sadly talked about the injuries inflicted by assault-style rifles that he has seen too often.
"With the wounds from a high volicity, rapid rate of fire firearm that was used in these tragedies, most of the patients do not survive to make it to a trauma center. We have to prevent these tragedies from happening," Dr. Stewart said.
Other officials and groups involved in the event include:
- Bexar County Commissioner Rebeca Clay-Flores, Precinct 1
- Bexar County Commissioner Justin Rodriguez, Precinct 2
- U.R. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX)
- Bexar County Criminal District Attorney Joe Gonzales
- Representatives from San Antonio Moms Demand Action