May 10, 2023

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Jesse Woche, Outreach and Advocacy Coordinator

Texas Leaders Block Passage of HB 2744

Following Monday’s historic bipartisan 8-5 committee vote to advance legislation to raise the age to purchase semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21, state leaders obstructed efforts to send the bill to the House floor. Against the will of advocates and survivors and despite strong public support, HB 2744 will remain stalled this legislative session. 

Texas Gun Sense worked tirelessly until the last possible moment to advance this legislation in partnership with members of the Texas Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, including Texas Impact and Community Justice Action Fund.

“We called on the Legislature to protect our families from gun violence, and they refused,” said Nicole Golden, Texas Gun Sense Executive Director. “Had HB 2744 been in place this time last year, 19 children and two educators would be alive today. Instead, we continue to brace ourselves for the next shooting. Though we are appalled that state leaders chose political power over the lives of children, this week we were also reminded of the strength of advocacy to move the needle forward. We and our partners will never give up until our communities are free to live without fear of being shot.”

“Texas Impact’s job is to support people of faith as they raise their voices in the public square,” said Bobby Watson of Texas Impact. “This session, we have seen unprecedented work on the part of faith leaders calling for practical, incremental strategies to reduce gun violence. Yet despite pleas from a diverse coalition of advocates, including clergy from across the state, HB 2744 failed to get placed on the house calendar, effectively killing the bill this session. The Texas Legislature has ignored the calls of the faith community, the families of victims of mass shootings like Uvalde, and the general populace to act on gun violence — and all within the same week as another mass shooting in Allen, TX. We are truly disappointed and ask the Legislature, when will enough be enough?”

“As a gun owner and survivor of gun violence, I am devastated by the negligence of Speaker Phelan, Chairman Burrows, and Chairman Guillen in refusing to bring life-saving legislation to the floor for formal discussion and vote,” stated Christina Delgado of Community Justice Action Fund. “We are approaching one year since Uvalde and five years since the Santa Fe massacre — both grim reminders of the disastrous consequences of loosened gun laws on Texas communities and families. The Legislature’s callous dismissal of survivors, advocates, and citizens’ pleas for action in the aftermath of the recent mass shootings in Allen and Cleveland, Texas ensures that more communities will continue to suffer from senseless, preventable acts of violence.”

Coalition partners drove thousands of calls, emails, and visits to key lawmakers to push for the passage of HB 2744.

Texas Gun Sense advocates to prevent gun violence and other gun tragedies through education, partnerships, and policy change. Learn more at