PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Gov. Dan McKee urged state lawmakers to take immediate action on gun safety legislation following the deadliest school shooting the nation’s seen since 2012.

“Too many lives have been tragically cut short by senseless gun violence across our nation – we cannot allow this to continue,” McKee said. “We need action now, here in Rhode Island and in our nation’s capital.”

McKee is asking lawmakers to send “common-sense” gun safety bills to his desk, adding that if they don’t pass them this legislative session, it’s highly possible that they never will.

“If it doesn’t happen this year, I can’t see it happening,” he said. “This is the year to get it done.”

There are currently five gun safety bills introduced this legislative session, though none of them have made it to McKee’s desk.

One of those bills would raise the legal gun-buying age from 18 to 21, while another would make it a felony to store a firearm unlocked.

Other bills on the table include banning the use of “high capacity magazines” and further restricting the sale and possession of assault weapons.

During a bill signing Wednesday legalizing the use of recreational marijuana statewide, Sen. Josh Miller said he was “going off script” to call on his colleagues to pass these bills.

“Stop with the prayers,” Miller said. “It’s urgent, it’s overdue … the moment in time for these gun safety bills is now.”

The National Education Association Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals, the state’s largest teachers’ unions, echoed Miller’s call to action.

“We are sick and tired of trying to come up with new words to describe the anguish each time students and teachers are massacred – new words that say the same thing: Enough is enough,” the organizations said in a statement. “It is past time to act. Do something. Do anything.”

In response, Senate President Dominick Ruggerio said additional gun safety legislation was discussed earlier this session and is being reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi said “legislation is pending in this session and is under consideration.”

“Our hearts are broken for all of the students, parents, teachers, and families in Uvalde,” he said in a statement. “What took place at Robb Elementary School is beyond comprehension. No child should ever have to fear for their life – especially while in school.”

When asked why the bills are still under consideration, a spokesperson for the R.I. House explained that the sponsor “requested the bills not be heard in committee this year and the testimony from 2021 would stand,” adding that the committee is still reviewing them.

McKee signed two gun safety bills into law last year, including the Harold M. Metts School Safety Act, which prohibits everyone from carrying a firearm on school property. He also signed a statewide ban on “straw purchases,” which is when someone buys a firearm for a person who can’t legally purchase one on their own.