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Texas lawmakers discuss their ideas on how state should respond to Uvalde school shooting

What's next after Uvalde school shooting hearings?
What's next after Uvalde school shooting hearings? 02:40

TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Amid the state and federal investigations and Texas legislative committee hearings into the deadly mass shooting in Uvalde, some lawmakers are discussing their ideas on how the state should respond.

We spoke with two members of the House Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee, Democrat Rhetta Bowers of Garland who serves as vice chair and Republican Tony Tinderholt of Arlington.

This and other House and Senate committees are in the process of developing recommendations for the legislature and Governor Greg Abbott to consider.

Representative Bowers said Wednesday she wants to see more equipment and training for school law enforcement officers.

"Certainly, shields for our ISD police as well as for me it would be tactical training," Bowers said. "There has to be more protections when it comes to our kids and our teachers."

State Rep. Rhetta Bowers on next steps following committee hearings over Uvalde shooting 19:38

Representative Tinderholt said school districts need to conduct high quality security audits and the state should implement real accountability to make sure schools follow through. 

"There's no teeth, there's no one really doing quality inspections on the schools to make sure that every three years they're doing these safety and security audits," Tinderholt said. "What I'd like to see is schools prioritizing security over large football fields and natatoriums for swimming. Prioritize, make sure that children are safe and then go to sports programs and things like that."

Tinderholt owns a company that provides security for schools and businesses.

He says districts need to make sure their schools' exterior doors are locked and he recommends they buy sensors and cameras that show them when those doors are left open.

Tinderholt also said there should be a school resource officer at every campus and that the state has the money to pay for it.
A CBS News-You Gov poll conducted for CBS DFW released last week shows wide support for increasing background checks, raising the age to 21 to buy an AR-15 or similar rifle, and red flag laws.

Bowers agreed. "We have to look at all of it. I think I've been able to have candid conversations with my colleagues from the other side of the aisle on this issue. I think they're open to hearing what we have to say. We're going to have to hear some things that either side is not going to like but we have to find common ground."

Tinderholt said lawmakers need to abide by the Constitution.

"Our job as legislators is to protect those rights, while we're also protecting the people of the United States," Tinderholt said. "So I'm going to go in with an open mind, I'm going to hear what people have to say. But again, we need to be very careful what we do and how we do it."

Bowers said another House hearing will be held next month.

Both Representatives Bowers and Tinderholt said once all the investigations are completed and lawmakers have had a chance to review the findings and consider a response, they want Governor Abbott to call them back for a special session. 

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