Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the “long term” solution to reducing gun massacres was addressing mental health, a day after a shooter killed eight people at a Dallas-area mall.

Abbott, a Republican who is dealing with the second mass shooting in his state in a week and a half, downplayed the need for lawmakers to tighten gun laws during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

“People want a quick solution; the long term solution here is to address the mental health issue,” Abbott told Fox News’ Shannon Bream.

Abbott did also call for increased penalties and stricter laws “to get guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals,” but did not demand new gun control measures.

Officials have not released any information about the identity, age, motivation or mental health history of the man who opened fire in the parking lot of Allen Premium Outlets Saturday afternoon. He was shot dead by a cop who was patrolling the area, police said.

Abbott said states with strict gun control laws have also seen shootings, adding, “There has been a dramatic increase in anger and violence that’s taking place in America.”

“And what Texas is doing in a bigtime way, we are working to address that anger and violence by going to its root cause, which is addressing the mental health problems behind it,” he said.

“We know that Texas had been lagging in addressing mental health for years, and that’s why over the past three [legislative] sessions we’ve added over $25 billion to address mental health. We’re in the waning days of a session right now where we will be adding even more funding — about $3 billion,” the governor said.

State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat who represents Uvalde, the site of an elementary school massacre that killed 22 people last year, most of them young students, slammed Austin Republicans for allowing gunmen to “run free with AR-15s and any gun they can get their hands on,” on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Shoppers leave as law enforcement officers respond to a Saturday mass shooting at Allen Premium Outlets. Eight shoppers were slain, and seven others were injured.via REUTERS

Gutierrez has proposed raising the minimum gun purchasing age to 21, strengthening background checks and instituting a “red flag law” that would take guns away from deranged individuals.

A recent Fox News poll found that at least 80% of American voters agree with implementing those measures.

The senator also accused officials — who had waited nearly a full day to update the public on the shooting — of trying to suppress the details surrounding the case.

“We are in a situation in this state where we’re — as if you’re living in communist Russia. The governor, the lieutenant governor, and people like them and their law enforcement agencies refuse to tell us the truth as to what’s going on here,” Gutierrez said.

“It’s just a sad state of affairs that we’re living in. This is not the Texas miracle that Greg Abbott likes to call it,” he added.

“We’re living in a Texas nightmare.”

WATCH: “…it wasn’t mental health that killed these people, it was an automatic rifle. I’m a gun lover. I have guns. I’m a former police officer. I’m a former Army officer … prayers won’t bring these people back. We need action in our legislatures.” pic.twitter.com/UR2zX0cky5

— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) May 7, 2023

Meanwhile, a civilian and self-proclaimed “gun lover” who rushed to the scene of Saturday’s massacre to render first aid to multiple shooting victims, demanded that the Texas legislature take up the issue.

“It wasn’t mental health that killed these people, it was an automatic rifle, with bullets,” Steven Spainhouer, a civilian, said on MSNBC’s “The Sunday Show”

“These M-4s and AR-15s, they’ve got to get off the streets, or this is going to keep happening. And we’ve got to stop that at some point. It could be you. It could be your family member,” Spainhouer said.

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