Police chiefs representing various communities across Texas urged state lawmakers to enact legislation that they hope will improve school safety last week.

In response to the Uvalde massacre, the chiefs from rural, urban and suburban communities appeared before a joint hearing of the Homeland Security and Public Safety Committee and the Youth Health and Safety Select Committee on Thursday. The law enforcement officials followed testimony from the families of Uvalde victims and gun rights advocates.

Recommendations include strengthening background checks, raising the minimum age to purchase a military-style rifle, and making it a state crime to complete straw purchases, or the purchasing of a firearm on behalf of an individual knowingly unfit to obtain one, the Palestine Herald-Press reports.

The chiefs were also adamant that SROs receive Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training, also known as ALERRT. ALERRT is an active-shooter response course that has trained hundreds of thousands of law enforcement personnel and civilians in Texas and across the country, according to its website.

Currently, school marshals are required to complete 80 hours of training, as well as a psychological exam and a background check before being allowed on school campuses, but that does not include ALERRT training.

 

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