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Odessa State Rep. Brooks Landgraf Says He Wants To 'Mitigate The Scourge Of Gun Violence'

Camille Phillips
Texas Public Radio

From Texas Standard:

Brooks Landgraf, who represents Odessa in the Texas House, says the last couple days have been “absolutely heartbreaking.” But, he says, he's also heartened by how people came together to show support for the victims of Saturday's mass shooting.

“It’s been a wide range of emotions, but it has certainly made us all feel very human,” he says.

Seven people were killed and at least 20 injured in Odessa-Midland before police shot and killed the suspect. Landgraf has been visiting with victims and their families since the attacks.

He says he still believes in the Second Amendment, but that something needs to be “done to mitigate the scourge of gun violence.”

“If we can’t come up with a solution that both balances the rights of law-abiding citizens and helps to mitigate that gun violence, then we lack imagination,” Landgraf says.

Some new, looser gun laws went into effect in Texas on Sunday, one day after the Odessa mass shooting. Although the two events aren’t directly connected, they show the opposing forces at play in the Texas gun debate.

Landgraf says he’s trying to listen to as many different opinions as possible from constituents and will “aggregate” them to try to come up with a solution.

“I don’t want to put any specific option on the table right now; I don’t want to have any preconceived notions. But I also don’t want to take any options off the table,” he says. “I think that we need to have a full discussion among my constituents and then I can take that, as their state representative, to the Texas Capitol.”

The Legislature doesn’t reconvene until 2021, but Landgraf says it’s possible Gov. Greg Abbott could agree to call a special session to deal with gun violence.

“The key to making a special session successful is to have an idea well thought out and try to build consensus for that idea before it begins," he says. "That way you can use that limited period of time to actually enact something."

He says he won't push for a special session immediately because he’s not yet prepared to propose a meaningful solution.

“That needs to be served up and ready to go,” Landgraf says.

Written by Caroline Covington.

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