HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — An elementary school shooting that killed 21 people Tuesday has reignited conversations surrounding mental health, school security and gun control.
FOX8 reached out to lawmakers to ask questions about what steps they plan to take to reduce gun violence.
We called and emailed representatives for Senator Thom Tillis, Senator Richard Burr, Representative Ted Budd, Representative Kathy Manning, Representative Virginia Foxx, and candidate for US Senate Cheri Beasley. Only Representative Kathy Manning agreed to an interview Wednesday.
“I have been in constant contact with my colleagues I am part of the Gun Safety Task Force, and we have been talking about what further steps we can take to make sure the Senate is willing the bills, willing to even consider the bills we passed in the House quite some time ago,” she said. “We passed a bill that would put into place some commonsense gun regulations, including universal background checks. We know that the vast majority of Americans agree with universal background checks.”
The representative for North Carolina’s sixth district also raised concerns about the speed the Uvalde shooter was able to purchase weapons. He reportedly purchased two rifles and 375 rounds of ammunition within three days legally.
“I think we ought to be talking about is it appropriate for an 18-year-old to buy assault weapons, and to buy such a huge capacity of ammunition. It should have been a sign to someone that there might be an issue there, so I think we need to take a look at that,” Rep. Manning said.
Representative Ted Budd did not respond to our calls or emails. He tweeted, “Please join me in praying for the children and families involved in this horrific shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Words cannot express our grief over such an unspeakable act of evil.”
Rep. Manning also shared a message to those concerned about losing their Second Amendment rights.
“I respect the Second Amendment, I respect the desire of people to have guns to go hunting to protect their families. I think we have to be responsible with our gun laws and our guns,” she said. “We have got to decide that we love our children more than we love our guns. It’s time for people to ask their elected officials what is their position on gun safety laws, are you willing to put into place common-sense regulations that will help us start to address this problem?”
A spokesperson for Cheri Beasley shared the following statement:
“What happened yesterday in Uvalde is every parent’s nightmare and my heart breaks for the families who lost loved ones. Children need to be safe at school. We must have the backbone to stand up to the gun lobby and work with law enforcement to implement common-sense reforms such as background checks, red flag laws, and closing loopholes that allow people who pose danger to others to get their hands on guns.”