AUSTIN, T.X. — Today, the Texas chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement condemning the Texas State House’s passage of HB3 on the second reading. This legislation would require that schools have an armed presence at each school, requiring that each school have armed law enforcement, security guards, or armed staff —which could include teachers —at each campus. Further, it would allow school funding to be used to arm more teachers through the guardian plan, which has lower training requirements than the formal school marshal program.
“Though increased safety is needed in Texas schools, it is perplexing and infuriating that Texas lawmakers believe the way to achieve this is by arming more individuals, including teachers across the state,” said Kathryn Vargas, a volunteer with the Texas Moms Demand Action. “More guns do not equal more safety, otherwise we would already be safe. Many parents, including myself, are already terrified to send our kids off to school every day, fearful of receiving that dreadful call that many parents do in our state and across the country. Let teachers teach. This is not the job they signed up for.”
“This is the reality Texas lawmakers have created for my generation: lockdowns, active shooter threats, and endless cycles of violence,” said Abbie Wickham, a student with the Students Demand Action in Texas and a student at Baylor University. “Students already feel unsafe every day, and HB3 would only make matters worse. We want safe schools, not fortresses. Our school funding should be used towards measures that will improve our education, not for arming our teachers and putting more guns in our classrooms.”
The House passage of HB3 comes on the heels of the mass shooting in Jasper this past weekend and falls as Texas approaches the one-year mark of the deadly shooting in Uvalde, that killed 19 children and two adults on May 24th, 2022. Research shows that arming teachers increases the risk of gun violence in schools and puts the lives of students, teachers, and law enforcement at risk, yet despite this, Texas lawmakers are actively choosing to put their constituents in more danger. Texans should be working tirelessly to increase safety for students, not arming more teachers with guns. The bill is eligible for its final third reading vote tomorrow.
In an average year, 3,996 people die by guns in Texas, and 5,556 more are wounded. Guns are the leading cause of death among children and teens in Texas. More information on gun violence in Texas is available here.
To speak to a Texas volunteer with Moms Demand Action, a volunteer with Students Demand Action, or a policy expert, please reach out to [email protected].