Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, has been appointed to the Senate Select Committee on Mass Violence Prevention and Community Safety.
“We are all horrified by continued acts of violence, and I applaud leadership for appointing this committee to examine ways to prevent these senseless tragedies,” Nelson said.
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick gave the select committee the following charges, according to a news release from Nelson’s office:
- Learn firsthand, the personal, family, and community impact of mass shootings in Texas by hearing from victims of mass violence in Dallas, Santa Fe, Sutherland Springs, El Paso, and Midland/Odessa. Conduct hearings in Austin, El Paso, and the Midland/Odessa area to meet with victims and their families in those communities.
- Examine ways to keep firearms out of the hands of individuals who would not pass a federal background check, while protecting the Second Amendment and Texans’ right to bear arms. Examine whether stranger-to-stranger gun sales in Texas should be subject to background checks.
- Consider the role digital media, dark web networks, and overall cultural issues play in the promotion of mass violence and how these contribute to the radicalization of individuals and incitement of racism, white supremacy and domestic terrorism. Research the link between violent video games and recent mass shootings in Texas and examine the impact of the overall fraying culture on mass shootings, including increased violence, tolerance for violence, and extremist views in our society.
- Assess how state and local law enforcement agencies, fusion centers, mental health providers, digital platforms and social media companies such as Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., can better collaborate to detect, prevent, and respond to mass violence and terroristic activity. Examine what resources, staffing and protocols are necessary to enhance these partnerships and whether state funding is needed to assist local authorities in this endeavor.
- Determine the effectiveness of current laws that are used for timely reporting of criminal history information, emergency protective orders, and other threat indicators to keep firearms out of the hands of individuals who would not pass a federal firearms background check. Review workforce and resource challenges impeding current laws and identify accountability measures needed for law enforcement, courts, firearm distributors, and private sellers who fail to follow reporting requirements under current law.
Nelson represents District 12, including the southern half of Denton County, and she is the Texas Senate’s highest ranking Republican. She became the first woman in Texas history to chair a budget-writing committee when she was appointed chair of Finance in 2014. She is also Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Cybersecurity, Co-Chairman of the Transition Legislative Oversight Committee and a member of the Legislative Budget Board and the Legislative Audit Committee. Before joining the Senate, Nelson served two years on the State Board of Education. She is also a former teacher and member of the PTA.