Update (11:57 a.m. Thursday)
Amarillo City Councilmember Cole Stanley has released a statement in response to Nelson signing a letter, calling on state officials to take action for further gun reform to prevent other mass shootings from occurring.
The statement reads:
THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE – I SUPPORT OUR SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS.
As a result of Mayor Ginger Nelson’s support of the open letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott regarding gun control, I am stating publicly as an elected representative of the citizens of Amarillo, TX, the Mayor does not speak for me nor does she represent my views on this subject.
This open letter for gun control does not accurately represent the majority of our community’s views on our Second Amendment rights and our right to security. Thirteen mayors’ opinions do not supersede the Bill of Rights guaranteed in our Constitutional Republic. Out of the five recommendations in Mayor Nelson’s letter, only two have any merit in affecting public safety, those being additional mental health funding and armed school security.
The worst of these proposals come in the form of red flag laws and our right to keep and bear arms. Red flag laws are a direct attack on our rights to defend ourselves and our families which are specifically protected by the Second, Fourth and Fifth Amendments. Our right to due process would be violated and replaced by guilty until proven innocent and a direct assault on our Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights we hold dear as a free country and people.
I have an obligation to stand for freedom and uphold the constitution as an elected representative. Our God-given rights shall not be infringed upon by impotent policies that restrict law-abiding citizens’ freedoms and do nothing to protect the most innocent people in our society.Cole Stanley
AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Officials from Texas Big City Mayors, a coalition of mayors throughout the state, including Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson, are calling on state officials to take further action to prevent other mass shootings from occurring.
According to the coalition’s Substack page, the coalition posted a letter to state governmental officials, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, to call a special session and add further gun-related measures to the session’s agenda. Nelson confirmed with MyHighPlains.com that she signed the letter.
This comes after the recent mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde. According to previous reports by MyHighPlains.com, 19 students and two adults were killed in late May at the elementary school in Uvalde. The gunman used an AR-style rifle in a single classroom in the school during the shooting, before he was eventually killed by law enforcement officers.
“We represent a continuum of political ideology and have come together because we know most Texans have a strong desire for common sense reform to protect our children,” the letter reads. “As mayors, we believe the legislature and executive leaders can come together to find the right solutions for Texas.”
The letter said that the coalition is calling on Abbott to add the following items to a special session agenda:
- Require universal background checks for gun purchases
- Increase the age to purchase assault weapons in Texas to 21
- Pass Red Flag laws to identify threats before shootings
- Significant increase in mental health support funding
- Train and properly resource school safety officers.
The letter said that those reforms listed would have prevented the mass shootings in Uvalde and in El Paso. Officials also stressed that the reforms are supported by most Texas residents.
“The problem that we face as a state, and that local law enforcement faces every day, is the ease with which dangerous individuals can obtain and access these weapons,” the letter reads. “Protecting the 2nd Amendment means passing responsible policies that a wide majority of law-abiding gun owners support. We cannot stand idly by while more of our fellow Texans, often our children and law enforcement officers, are laid to rest as the result of another preventable shooting. Action is the only thing that will save more lives.”
Other signatures of the letter include Mayor Steve Adler of Austin, Mayor Sylvester Turner of Houston and Mayor Mattie Parker of Fort Worth. Read the full letter below: