Uvalde’s parents, hundreds rally to demand age increase for U.S. AR-15 sales Texas-Xinhua

People take part in a protest demanding an age increase for AR-15 sales in Austin, Texas, U.S., August 27, 2022. Hundreds of protesters, including more than a dozen members of the family of victims of the Uvalde school shooting, gathered here Saturday urging to raise the minimum age to purchase AR-15 style rifles. They also demanded that the state of Texas in the south-central United States take more action to address gun violence. (Photo by Bo Lee/Xinhua)

HOUSTON, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) — Hundreds of protesters, including more than a dozen family members of victims of the Uvalde school shooting, gathered here Saturday to demand an increase in minimum age to purchase AR-15 type rifles.

They also demanded that the state of Texas in the south-central United States take more action to address gun violence.

An 18-year-old gunman used a legally purchased AR-15 rifle to kill 19 children and two teachers at Robb Primary School in Uvalde in May. Concerns about campus security persist as the new school year begins across the United States.

On the steps outside the state capitol, parents and gun safety advocates called on Governor Greg Abbott to call a special session of the Texas legislature to raise the age of purchase of these weapons from 18 to 21, as Florida, California and New York did.

“Nothing has changed,” said Maggie Mireles, sister of Eva Mireles, one of the deceased teachers at Robb Elementary. Many Uvalde families present at the rally also fear it is only a matter of time before the next shooting.

As parents and gun control activists spoke, protesters held up signs with the names and faces of the children and teachers who died in the Uvalde shooting.

Abbott was not in Austin during the rally. Local media reported that the governor, a Republican, has so far rejected calls for a special session and has not publicly supported raising the age to buy guns in Texas.

His Democratic rival, Beto O’Rourke, has pledged to raise the age to buy the types of weapons the killer used in Uvalde.

While the Uvalde shooting was the deadliest so far in 2022, there were at least 27 school shootings in 2022 that resulted in injuries or deaths in the United States, according to the School Shooting Tracker. of Education Week, an independent news organization. There have been 119 since 2018, when Education Week began tracking such incidents.

People take part in a protest demanding an age increase for AR-15 sales in Austin, Texas, U.S., August 27, 2022. Hundreds of protesters, including more than a dozen members of the family of victims of the Uvalde school shooting, gathered here Saturday urging to raise the minimum age to purchase AR-15 style rifles. They also demanded that the state of Texas in the south-central United States take more action to address gun violence. (Photo by Bo Lee/Xinhua)

People take part in a protest demanding an age increase for AR-15 sales in Austin, Texas, U.S., August 27, 2022. Hundreds of protesters, including more than a dozen members of the family of victims of the Uvalde school shooting, gathered here Saturday urging to raise the minimum age to purchase AR-15 style rifles. They also demanded that the state of Texas in the south-central United States take more action to address gun violence. (Photo by Bo Lee/Xinhua)

People take part in a protest demanding an age increase for AR-15 sales in Austin, Texas, U.S., August 27, 2022. Hundreds of protesters, including more than a dozen members of the family of victims of the Uvalde school shooting, gathered here Saturday urging to raise the minimum age to purchase AR-15 style rifles. They also demanded that the state of Texas in the south-central United States take more action to address gun violence. (Photo by Bo Lee/Xinhua)

Sallie R. Loera