AUSTIN, Texas — Texas lawmakers will take a first step Thursday in trying to protect children from mass shootings.
The House Ways and Means Committee voted overwhelmingly Thursday to pass a bill to make sure people who are armed don’t take their own lives.
Lawmakers are expected to approve the bill by early Friday.
It was the first time lawmakers have approved a bill protecting people from mass shooting.
The Senate is considering similar legislation.
Republican Sen. Greg Walden said the measure will help protect kids from the Las Ves massacre.
“I am proud that we have passed the first bill to protect kids in our community from mass shooters,” Walden told The Associated Press on Thursday.
He said the bill is needed to help keep kids safe from what he said was a growing threat.
The measure is modeled after a law passed in Oregon in 2011 and a similar measure in New York in 2015, when the shooter in that case, Aaron Alexis, killed six people and injured 20 others before taking his own life.
It would give law enforcement the authority to request an individual’s driver’s license, passport or social security number and require them to provide the information within 72 hours of receiving a request.
It also would give people the right to hold the driver’s or passport records for 30 days after they surrender them.
The bill is aimed at ensuring that people who need help to protect themselves from gun violence aren’t taken out of their homes by people who don’t have the necessary licenses and guns.
The Texas Tribune thanks its sponsors.
The legislation is being backed by Sen. Donna Campbell, a Republican, and her Republican colleagues.
Campbell has been leading efforts to protect young people from a growing gun violence crisis.
She said Thursday that her proposal is “a first step.”