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Greg Abbott's School Safety Plan Includes 'Red Flag Law' Proposed By Democratic Rep. Joe Moody

Democratic State Rep. Joe Moody
Joe Moody/Facebook
Democratic State Rep. Joe Moody

From Texas Standard:

Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to curb school shootings has embraced an idea championed by an El Paso Democrat, State Rep. Joe Moody. The idea is called a “red flag law.”

Moody says his proposed legislation calls for a mechanism by which a person who is in crisis, and poses an eminent danger to themselves or others when guns are present, would lose access to their firearms. He says similar laws exist in other states, and at the federal level.

“Certainly, when I came to it, we were thinking of it on the mental health front – suicide prevention – it certainly could help prevent or curb mass shootings as well,” Moody says.

He says he’s grateful that the idea has gained bipartisan support in light of the Santa Fe High School shooting. When he proposed a red flag law during the last legislative session, he didn’t get enough support to pass it.

“Unfortunately, the response was fairly predictable,” he says. “There [were] accusations that it was a gun grab, or a gun confiscation bill – that there was no due process, that there were constitutional concerns. Unfortunately, that kind of rhetoric, which was false, and incorrect about the bill just stalled things out.”

Moody has a mixed reaction to other elements of the governor’s 40-point school safety plan, calling some of it “shortsighted.”

“Giving training, and putting money into arming teachers and other personnel – I don’t know that that should be a priority,” Moody says. “I think there are security forces that exist in local communities that you can help equip... to handle these situations.”

Moody does support better training for those who are already charged with keeping schools safe, and says he appreciates the governor’s interest in addressing the issue of school violence.

“I’m just glad that there’s a conversation going on,” he says. “This was a nonstarter last session, across the board.”

Written by Shelly Brisbin.

Copyright 2020 KUT 90.5. To see more, visit KUT 90.5.

Rhonda is the newest member of the KUT News team, joining in late 2013 as producer for KUT's new daily news program, The Texas Standard. Rhonda will forever be known as the answer to the trivia question, “Who was the first full-time hire for The Texas Standard?” She’s an Iowa native who got her start in public radio at WFSU in Tallahassee, while getting her Master's Degree in Library Science at Florida State University. Prior to joining KUT and The Texas Standard, Rhonda was a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio.