NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The mayors of the largest cities in the state, including five in North Texas, are coming together in support of gun reform after the deadly shooting in Uvalde.
"It's time to move beyond, 'Our thoughts and prayers are with people,' and it's time to do something," said Arlington Mayor Jim Ross.
The bipartisan group of 13 mayors urges the governor to call a special session immediately to come up with ways to prevent another mass shooting in Texas.
In a letter, they laid out several reforms they want to see, such as requiring universal background checks, increasing the age to buy an assault weapon to 21, and raising red flag laws.
"The more hurdles we can put in place to keep those bad guys from getting those guns, the safer our communities are going to be," Mayor Ross said.
The mayors also want state lawmakers to significantly increase funding for mental health support and to improve training and resources for school safety officers.
"We feel very good about the fact that we're getting a lot of community support for these items," said Plano Mayor John Muns. "So we're going to continue to communicate with the governor and his staff to let them know this is being supported in our community and the communities across Texas."
The mayors say addressing these issues should be a top priority for state leaders.
"I'm a Second Amendment supporter, a former cop, former Marine, I have a license to carry," said Ross. "I believe in our ability and our right to carry a firearm and to protect ourselves. However, we have to protect our kids. We have to protect our families."
The group believes these reforms would have stopped the shooters in El Paso and Uvalde from getting their weapons.
"What we're really trying to do is just give our law enforcement better tools to be able to maybe prevent some of these tragedies from happening," Mayor Muns said.
Grand Prairie Mayor Ron Jensen told CBS 11 News he stands behind the letter that he signed but feels it is best for state and federal leaders to comment on this issue.
In a statement, Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker said, "I chose to join 12 mayors of Texas' most populous cities in signing this letter because we must be better for Texans. The reforms proposed in this letter are grounded in our unified desire to better protect the children in each of our communities. By implementing these kinds of commonsense bipartisan solutions, we will make schools, neighborhoods, and cities safer, while continuing to respect American rights of gun ownership."
for more features.