It's Time to Act

In: The Lonestar Weekly   Posted 10/25/2019

Two months ago, Texans were mourning the loss of 22 people who were killed in a senseless attack in El Paso, Texas. Little did we know that we were just days away from another violent attack, this time in Midland and Odessa that took seven lives.

As I visited with the families following each of these attacks, there was one common refrain, one common request: please do something.

That's why I introduced the Restoring, Enhancing, Strengthening and Promoting Our Nation's Safety Efforts, or the RESPONSE, Act this week.


First, the RESPONSE Act takes aim at unlicensed firearms dealers who are breaking the law. It creates a nationwide task force to investigate and prosecute those who are illegally selling firearms and people who provide false statements as part of a background check when trying to purchase firearms.

Second, this bill improves the quality and availability of mental health care. The RESPONSE Act expands Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) programs, which provide families of individuals with mental illness an opportunity to get treatment for their loved ones in the community, rather than an institution.

Third, the RESPONSE Act takes steps to increase the safety of our students. This bill will make schools less vulnerable by promoting best practices and internet safety policies to help schools better identify and assess students whose behavior indicates a threat of violence.

Finally, it’s vital that law enforcement have access to information about potential threats – especially those made online. The RESPONSE Act would encourage social media sites and other online platforms to share information with law enforcement concerning potential acts of mass violence, hate crimes, or domestic terrorism.

I spent time with families and victims in El Paso and Midland-Odessa following the shootings and promised each one of them I would work with my colleagues in the Senate on real solutions.

No person, family, or community should endure the heartbreak caused by the recent mass shootings in Texas.


It’s time to answer their call for action, and pass the RESPONSE Act to keep our communities safe from mass violence.

For Texas,