Following the Texas school massacre, the National Governors Association announced Friday that it would form a bipartisan working committee to develop advice on preventing mass shootings.
Given the country’s governors’ party divisions on how to deal with issues such as gun control and school safety, it could be difficult to reach an agreement.
In a letter to the White House, Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson and New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy said they would organize a team of six to ten governors to focus on school safety.
Hutchinson and Murphy kept the door open for some gun control advice on recommendations. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a comprehensive gun control package last week, but the Senate is unlikely to pass it.
“We believe that the Task Force will be able to make recommendations to protect our schools and communities in line with the expectations of the American people, who strongly support gun protection,” the president said in a letter to governors. There are reasonable solutions to prevent these horrific events and we must work together to protect our communities and our most vulnerable citizens – our children. “
The letter comes as governors split the ideological line on how to best respond to the shooting deaths of 19 elementary school students and two teachers in Uvalade, Texas. A recent poll conducted by The Associated Press divided governors, with Democrats pushing for stronger gun control and Republicans focusing on school safety.
According to Hutchinson, the minimum age for buying an AR-style firearm should be raised from 18 to 21. However, Hutchinson, who is stepping down in January and considering a presidential election, said he was not in favor of such a move in his state, and said the gun control system would not be on the table if he asked the Republican-controlled legislature to consider it. School safety issues during a potential special session.
The letter was sent the same day Hutchinson announced the re-establishment of a school safety commission following the Parkland, Florida school tragedy in 2018.
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