Allen Massacre likely to result in new laws: North Texas legislator

Lawmakers in Texas are discussing potential policy changes in response to the Allen massacre. State Rep. Jeff Leach, who lives just a mile away from where eight innocent people were killed and seven injured in a mass shooting, believes the tragedy is an emergency for the state. He insists lawmakers will take action.

Leach, a Republican, has pointed to mental health solutions as a potential way forward, suggesting legislation to improve the link between state and federal databases in order to prevent mental health red flags from being missed. However, no bills under consideration would have prevented the attack in Allen.

The Texas House has recently approved a bill to ban devices that turn handguns into fully automatic weapons. However, the chamber rejected a measure to raise the minimum age for purchasing semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21. Despite this, some Republicans, including Leach and Rep. Frederick Frazier, are willing to discuss other gun safety proposals. The current legislative session ends on May 29, adding time pressure to the discussions.

Leach is not willing to compromise on his support for the Second Amendment, but he says there are policy changes that can be implemented to protect citizens from future incidents. With just under three weeks left in the legislative session, lawmakers are working around the clock to find ways to both keep communities safe and preserve Second Amendment rights.

While it is unclear at this point what types of legislation will ultimately emerge, it is clear that the Allen massacre has prompted a serious discussion around gun control in Texas. If lawmakers fail to reach an agreement by the end of the legislative session, it remains possible that a special session could be called.

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