Arlington Rep. Chris Turner stands at the podium flanked by nine Dallas and Fort Worth Democratic state representatives. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

Democratic Texas state representatives held press conferences across the state Wednesday morning, Sept. 4, to call for a special session of the Texas Legislature to deal with gun violence. Locally, 10 DFW reps spoke in the Dallas County Commissioners Court urging the governor to call them back into session.

Dallas state Rep. Rafael Anchia spoke on a bill he sponsored with Rep. Terry Meza that would prevent open carry of firearms on airport tarmacs. The bill passed with bipartisan support in the legislature earlier this year but was vetoed by Gov. Greg Abbott.

Representatives addressed their Republican counterparts, who criticized one bill filed as something that wouldn’t have prevented any one particular mass shooting. They said they filed a variety of bills addressing gun safety and all, except Anchia’s bill, died in committee.

The legislators acknowledged that their bills wouldn’t stop all gun violence, but argued that the legislation would prevent some. While Chris Turner, D-Arlington, sounded optimistic about the call for a special session, Anchia was particularly discouraged. He said that if the governor was against preventing people from openly carrying military assault weapons on active runways at commercial airports — a no-brainer, he called it — he had little hope anything would be accomplished.

“The bills we’re seeking are not radical,” Anchia said.

Rep. Nicole Collier, D- Fort Worth, summed up the feeling of the 10 legislators when she she’s done with thoughts and prayers: “We’re sick and tired of being sick and tired,” Collier said.


— David Taffet