FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 09/04/2019
Rep. Drew Darby Named Chair of House Select Committee on Mass Violence Prevention and Community Safety
AUSTIN, TEXAS — Representative Drew Darby (San Angelo) will serve as Chairman of the House Select Committee on Mass Violence Prevention and Community Safety, which will work alongside a Senate select committee and Governor Greg Abbott's Domestic Terrorism Task Force to develop recommendations for combatting mass violence and improving public safety in Texas.
"The tragic shootings we've too often witnessed across our state, and most recently in El Paso and West Texas, require lawmakers to step up and be courageous in formulating real policy solutions to prevent future violence," said Representative Darby. "We grieve with the families and friends of victims, and we commit to them and all Texans that we will act now to protect the safety and the rights of citizens."
"Drew Darby is an excellent choice to chair the House Select Committee on Mass Violence Prevention and Community Safety," said Governor Greg Abbott. "We visited at length about the purpose and goals for the committee. Representative Darby is committed to achieving meaningful reforms that will make Texas safer while also preserving the 2nd Amendment rights of law abiding citizens."
Speaker Dennis Bonnen appointed 13 members to the House Select Committee, including Vice-Chair Poncho Nevárez (Eagle Pass), César Blanco (El Paso), Giovanni Capriglione (Southlake), Charlie Geren (Fort Worth), Barbara Gervin-Hawkins (San Antonio), Julie Johnson (Carrollton), Brooks Landgraf (Odessa), Mike Lang (Granbury), Joe Moody (El Paso), Geanie Morrison (Victoria), Four Price (Amarillo), Armando Walle (Houston).
The House Select Committee has jurisdiction over matters pertaining to the safety of Texas communities by reducing incidents of mass violence, and is directed to:
• Examine options for strengthening enforcement measures for current laws that prevent the transfer of firearms to felons and other persons prohibited by current law from possessing firearms;
• Examine impediments and challenges to the timely reporting of relevant criminal history information and other threat indicators to state and federal databases;
• Examine the role of digital media and technology in threat detection, assessment, reporting, and prevention, including the collaboration between digital media and law enforcement;
• Consider the ongoing and long-term workforce needs of the state related to cybersecurity, mental health, law enforcement, and related professionals; and
• Evaluate current protocols and extreme risk indicators used to identify potential threats and consider options for improving the dissemination of information between federal, state, and local entities and timely and appropriate intervention of mental health professionals.
The House Select Committee will submit a preliminary assessment to the Speaker within 90 days, produce periodic progress updates, and submit a final report. To maximize the opportunity for public input, the House Select Committee will make every effort to coordinate hearing dates with the Senate Select Committee.
Contact: Laramie Stroud