AUSTIN (KXAN) — Uvalde families gathered in Austin Saturday morning for a March For Our Lives rally to demand Gov. Greg Abbott take action toward gun safety.
“You have to be 21 to buy a case of beer. But an 18 year old bought a gun to kill kids. That does not make sense,” Kaitlyn Gonzales, a student in Robb Elementary School the day of the shooting, said.
Parents from Uvalde started their protest outside the governor’s mansion before 6 a.m. Several families of victims played audio of their children’s voices and laughter that had been recorded prior to their deaths.
This comes after the May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, about an hour and a half west of San Antonio, where an 18-year-old gunman killed two teachers and 19 children.
Uvalde’s parents and families met alongside March For Our Lives, a youth-led organization created in the wake of another school shooting, the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School attack in Parkland, Florida.
The group also included survivors from the 2018 Santa Fe High School shooting, where 10 Texans were killed.
Rally organizers said they are urging Abbott to call a special session to raise the minimum age to purchase an AR-15 to 21.
“It is time to stop using mental issues as an excuse for these mass shootings. When reality it’s making easy access for teens for teens to purchase ARs,” Berlinda Arreola, the grandmother of Amerie Jo Garza, a victim of the Uvalde shooting, said.
Just this week, a federal court in Fort Worth ruled Texas can’t ban 18 to 20-year-olds from carrying handguns, the Texas Tribune reported. In the state, handguns can only legally be purchased at 21. U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman wrote the Second Amendment does not specify an age limit and protects adults under 21 years old, the Texas Tribune wrote.
The March For Our Lives rally beings Saturday at 11 a.m. on the south steps of the Texas State Capitol.