Texans joined a push on Capitol Hill with mayors and police chiefs from around the nation Monday asking for national legislation to tighten restrictions on firearm purchases, saying such laws would prevent mass shootings, the Dallas Morning News reports. “The 911 calls don’t come into the Senate, they don’t come into the Congress, they come into the police chiefs and mayors,” said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, speaking at a U.S. Conference of Mayors news conference. “It’s not the Congress that shows up. By the time they get there, the blood has been cleaned up and the bodies have been removed.” The group called for a universal background check system on firearms purchases and “red flag” laws that allow law enforcement to seize firearms from people deemed dangerous.
The group began its push on the first day back from summer recess for the U.S. House and Senate. Several deadly mass shootings — including ones in El Paso and Odessa — occurred during the recess. Earlier in the day, the group met with President Donald Trump’s staff and they’ll meet with members of Congress Tuesday. Bryan Barnett, mayor of Rochester Hills, Mi., and president of the mayor’s conference, said the group was positively received at the White House, but they weren’t given any indication if the president was planning on supporting any specific legislation. The press conference comes three days after Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said he’s “willing to take an arrow” and defy the National Rifle Association by pressing the Texas Legislature to tighten background-check laws. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are drafting a bill that would create a federal grant program to assist and encourage states to pass red flag laws.