While the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District Board of Trustees unanimously passed a resolution Monday night to formally ask Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to convene a special session of the Texas Legislature to raise the age for purchasing semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21, it took no action against district Police Chief Pete Arredondo after the May 24 school shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead at Robb Elementary School.
"As we all know, May 24 there was a tragedy that occurred in our community at Robb School, taking the lives of 19 students and two teachers with a rifle that an 18-year-old could walk in and purchase," Superintendent Hal Harrell said in bringing the resolution up for a vote during Monday night's meeting. "There is no reason for an 18-year-old to have something like that."
The resolution, calling for Abbott to convene a special legislative session to raise the age of purchasing semi-automatic rifles and "assault style" rifles from 18 to 21, passed unanimously with applause from members of the public attending the meeting.
"As Gov. Abbott has said from day one, all options remain on the table as he continues working with state and local leaders to prevent future tragedies and deploy all available resources to support the Uvalde community as they heal," a spokesperson for Abbott told the Texas Tribune Tuesday. "More announcements are expected in the coming days and weeks as the legislature deliberates proposed solutions."
The board adjourned without acting against Arrendondo for his role in the failure of more than 300 law enforcement officers to enter the classroom the gunman was in for 77 minutes, allowing the slaughter to continue.
A 77-page Texas State House report, published July 17, found that Arrendondo "did not assume his preassigned responsibility of incident command," and was "unable to effectively implement staging or command and control of the situation."
The board delayed acting on calls from the public to dismiss Arrendondo at the request of his lawyer, the Tribune reported.
The delay did not go over well with members of the public at Monday's meeting.
"You've known about this, you know how we feel about this, I understand procedure, I understand protocol," one told the board during public comments. "I totally get it, but don't hesitate [firing Arrendondo]. As a board, hold each other accountable."
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